The Fun Stuff: And Other Essays by James Wood

Following The Broken Estate, The Irresponsible Self, and How Fiction Works—books that established James Wood as the leading critic of his generation—The Fun Stuff confirms Wood’s preeminence, not only as a discerning judge but also as an appreciator of the contemporary novel. In twenty-three passionate, sparkling dispatches—that range over such crucial writers as Thomas Hardy, Leon Tolstoy, Edmund Wilson, and Mikhail Lermontov—Wood offers a panoramic look at the modern novel. He effortlessly connects his encyclopedic, passionate understanding of the literary canon with an equally in-depth analysis of the most important authors writing today, including Cormac McCarthy, Lydia Davis, Aleksandar Hemon, and Michel Houellebecq. Included in The Fun Stuff are the title essay on Keith Moon and the lost joys of drumming—which was a finalist for last year’s National Magazine Awards—as well as Wood’s essay on George Orwell, which Christopher Hitchens selected for the Best American Essays 2010. The Fun Stuff is indispensable reading for anyone who cares about contemporary literature.

About Simon

Simon is an actor who found his way into audiobook narrating as a side-gig and seems to have made a success of it. With some training as an actor as a child (just a couple of hours a week, but it stuck) and 15 years working inside the BBC (ending up as one of the presenters/newsreaders on BBC Radio 4 in London) he found the ideal combination for an audiobook narrator. Found his way to California two decades ago and never left.

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2 Responses to The Fun Stuff: And Other Essays by James Wood

  1. David T May 28, 2013 at 12:47 pm #

    Why can’t I find the Fun Stuff book anywhere. It doesn’t seem to be on the pdf master list. But it’s here on this Completed Books page. A link to the seller would be helpful. It shouldn’t be so difficult to find out where to go to make a transaction, i.e., give you some money! Not that I’ve found it in this instance. Same goes for the Sherlock Holmes. Can’t find that either.

    • Simon May 28, 2013 at 1:07 pm #

      Hi David, I appreciate your frustration. However, you should know that this is not a sales site and I do not receive residuals for sales so this is not about that side of the business. I provide the site to give information on what I’m working on or have recently been working on. When a title appears here it means I am recording it or have in the past recorded it. I do not control when a publisher is going to release the recording.

      I mention on the book search page that the list I put together is out of date – next chance I get I shall try to make that clearer (the best of intentions sometimes comes up short). getting the list up to date would be best, but will also take a lot of time. Understand that I provide this website on my own time without assistance and without remuneration. I’m sorry it doesn’t fully serve your needs. I hope, if you see titles appear here in the future that interest you, you’ll understand it may be some months before the book itself becomes available – and you’ll probably have to search for it. is a start but there are several other sites (no, I don’t know all of them).

      I found a link to ‘The Fun Stuff’: Sherlock Holmes has clearly not been released yet. I hope you can wait 🙂

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