walker cole


Geoff Dyer
June 7, 2017

Well, I just finished Out of Sheer Rage today. It only took me a few months to read it. To most, I would imagine that seems like a lot of time to be working on one book, but for me, that's pretty quick.

When I first picked up this book to read, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I had just discovered the Boston Public Library, got myself a library card, and was looking for something to take out. I decided I wanted to read some sort of biography, so I hovered over towards that section. Once I found the shelf, I scanned the bindings of hundreds of books and selected this one because of its title and interesting cover design. It turns out the book isn't even close to being a biography. It's a very odd book, interesting nonetheless. I would explain it as a collection of stories by Dyer. These stories tell the adventures that Geoff Dyer went on while he was researching D.H. Lawerence.

That's basically it.

When I started the book, I thought there might be one or two stories, and then the text would transition into a more formal biography about Lawerence, but as I continued reading, I realized that Dyer's intention was to never write a book about Lawerence. Well, I would imagine that before Dyer embarked on his first adventure, before he even started the research for this book, he intended to write about Lawerence. However, once Dyer began uncovering Lawerence's past on these journeys, he figured that the dilemma to write about Lawerence was the overarching idea in his travels.

Each story that Dyer writes about was very unique. Every journey was either significant to the life of Lawerence or it was supposed to help Dyer write about Lawerence. May it have been traveling through Europe to find where Lawerence once lived or moving between different apartments to find a better study, Dyer fails to teach us about Lawerence. Instead, he writes about the dilemma to write about Lawerence. It seems odd, but I found it engaging. Dyer is very comical because of his ridiculous scrutiny. He goes into such depth about how he can't write about Lawerence, citing numerous distractions, and other things that he has to do. Dyer ultimately shares his extreme procrastination techniques in a book that is supposed to be about D.H. Lawerence which ends up being about how he rationalizes that he cannot write a book about Lawerence.

Every once in a while, in between stories, there were some literature heavy texts that I found to be rather boring. These parts of the book dissected Lawerence's writing and explained it in great depth. Needless to say, I didn't retain much as I was just trying to advance to the next story.

All in all, I would rate this book a 3.25/5 stars. I enjoyed reading Dyer's analytical thoughts on his dilemma to write about Lawerence. Even though at some points there were some dry literature analyses, I always pushed through to the next story and found myself engaged until the end.

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