Canongate £9.99 (400pp) £9.49 from the Independent Bookshop: 08430 600 030
Working the Room, By Geoff Dyer
An adroit but weird collection about photos, literature and personal stuff. The title comes from a piece on Susan Sontag: "Critics are always working the room."
Dyer is not shy of brash intrusions. Les Dawson pops up in an essay on Richard Avedon because, Dyer says, the lensman could make you look (in Dawson's phrase) "like a bag of spanners".
Benny Hill has a walk-on in an appreciation of Czech photographer Miroslav Tichy. Dyer's favourite cameo guest is, however, G Dyer.
A critique of Tender is the Night includes a detour about taking Ecstasy. Dyer even invades his own memoirs. A tale about being sacked moves on to Dyer telling us more than we want to know about his sex life.
His writing is clever and provocative but it's high time he left the Me generation.
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