Cultural Amnesia

  • by Clive James
  • Narrated by Clive James
  • 6 hrs and 20 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

"In this book can be heard the merest edge of an enormous conversation. As they never were in life, we can imagine the speakers all gathered in some vast room, wearing name tags in case they don't recognize each other (although some recognize each other all too well, and avoid contact)."My heroes and heroines are here. The reader will recognize some of their names, while other names will be more obscure. My intellectual betes noires are here too, and the same division might apply." An almanac combining a comprehensive survey of modern culture with an annotated index of who-was-who and what-was-what, Cultural Amnesia is Clive James' unique take on the places and the faces that shaped the 20th century. From Anna Akhmatova to Stefan Zweig, via Charles de Gaulle, Hitler, Thomas Mann and Charlie Chaplin, this varied and unfailingly absorbing book is both story and history, both public memoir and personal record - and provides an essential field-guide to the vast movements of taste, intellect, politics, and delusion that helped to prepare the times we live in now.

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What the Critics Say

"Clever, and funny....a wonderful book for a long afternoon in a left-bank cafe, or a transatlantic plane ride." (The Observer)
"On virtually every page, there is an arresting sentence, witty or profound." (Mail on Sunday)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Very enjoyable and well narrated

I'm usually not a big fan of authors' narration of their own work-I usually prefer more professional readings- but Clive James' reading of his own work was excellent and very enjoyable. I found the book fascinating from the preface right through the last essay. I only wish the version were unabridged.

The essays were both thought-provoking and insightful. They have already sent me back to many of the texts discussed with enhanced understanding and appetite.

This was a fascinating addition to my audio library and so engaging I never missed a beat though driving for hours at a time on a long commute.
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- Larbi

I wish it were unabridged

I don't usually listen to unabridged texts, so this was a happy accident. Clive James is an excellent reader of his own work. His thought provoking commentary has broadened my literary and cultural horizons. I wish I could have heard all of it.
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- Michele P.

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-08-2008
  • Publisher: Pan Macmillan Publishers Ltd.