Anthony Burgess: Liar But Fantastic Journalist

The Telegraph has a review of Anthony Biswell’s long-awaited biography of Anthony Burgess (now available from Picador). But it looks as if the Telegraph has their crosshairs locked on Burgess’ twelve year old corpse when comparing Biswell’s previous biography (The Real Life of Anthony Burgess) with Roger Lewis’ 2002 biography. Among the charges: Burgess was a liar, “provisional and opportunistic,” a “highly developed” potency complex, Burgess’ second son not of Anthony’s loin, and the charge that Burgess thought he was Don Quixote. But if it’s the words that count, then Burgess is paid the highest compliment: “He was a terrific journalist. Couldn’t write a dreary column to save his life.”

(For another perspective on the Biswell bio, the Anthony Burgess site has sunk teeth into the bio, which notes that Burgess somehow found the time to write eight hours a day (all seven days) without a break and, by Burgess’ admission (true or false?), he was often in the pub by lunchtime.)

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