Colin Wilson is the bete-noir of the Oxbridge literary establishment.
He never went to university, let alone Oxbridge, yet wrote "The Outsider", a brilliant account of the pain of being alive today, when he was just twenty-four.
It sold millions of copies around the world, and he was acclaimed as one of the leading intellectuals of the age, finding a huge audience with the anti-establishment, alternative and underground thinkers. Because of his radically new attitudes he was - with John Osborne - dubbed an 'angry young man' in the article that originally coined that phrase.
In this way a young man from a working class background suddenly found himself moving in the most colourful literary and artistic circles of the day.
In his autobiography, he tells stories about, among others, Aldous Huxley, Angus Wilson, John Osborne, Kingsley Amis, Kenneth Tynan, Francis Bacon and Norman Mailer - all observed with a true outsider's eye for absurdity.
He is regarded by many as a true literary hero - Julian Cope stopped a recent concert to pay tribute to Wilson who as sitting in the audience and Donovan Leitch dedicates his new autobiography to him - but he also has huge mass market appeal. His insightful, brilliant books on the "Occult", the "Mysteries and Atlantis" and the "Sphinx" were all huge bestsellers netting millions of copies.
In this return to the themes of "The Outsider", looked at from the point of his own life story, he again proves himself one of the great intellectuals of our age, never ceasing to wrestle with the great questions of life and death, and writing with an erudition and an easy way with ideas that is rare in English literary life.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 398 pages, b&w photos
- Publisher: Cornerstone
- Publication Date: 05/05/2005
- Category: Autobiography: general
- ISBN: 9780099471479
Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.
Review by J.v.d.A.
I can't really put my finger on the exact reason, but this book was a major disappointment. I am surprised I managed to finish it frankly and think it could have been shorter by at least 100 pages.
Review by ChrisWildman
This is the autobiography an original mind who, without formal training, wrote mostly about ideas from an unconventional, intelligent and psychologically adventurous expereince of life. I think its in here he suggests: "the idea is not to escape reality but to create it".