Kevin Jackson

Trebles All Around

A Clockwork Counterpoint: The Music and Literature of Anthony Burgess

By

Manchester University Press 467pp £65 order from our bookshop

Gore Vidal used to like telling a story about the first time he met Anthony Burgess, in the mid-Sixties. It was at a posh reception, and the English novelist was accompanied by his difficult first wife, Lynne. She tackled Vidal with an aggression probably fuelled by booze (she died of cirrhosis of the liver a few years later) and bragged about how many books her husband had published: twenty-one. Fingers were produced, calculations made … Vidal had the higher score. Burgess, with exquisite gamesmanship, murmured that he was, of course, primarily a composer. Lynne was furious: ‘No, you’re not!’, she shouted at him.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Why did the 'bold and determined' Empress Matilda never manage to become Queen regnant? Peter Marshall reviews a n… ,
    • From the Archive: Martyn Bedford on Ian McEwan's 'Atonement' ,
    • In 'Silenced Voices' reports the ongoing story of the human rights lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, who has been… ,
    • The mystery of Jack the Ripper's identity has long been agonised over. But what do we know about his victims?… ,
    • A piece of Literary Review history from way back in 1983: John Haffenden talks to the great Iris Murdoch. ,
    • Britain’s only travelling lit fest, the Garden Museum Literary Festival is heading to Houghton Hall, Norfolk, for a… ,
    • 'The 19th-century German sage is not my idea of a pleasant travel companion' goes hiking with Friedr… ,