Maybe the most emblematic title in Mailer's unruly, pugilistic oeuvre is "Advertisements for Myself." Few, if any authors, have been such brutalizing advocates for their own genius as Mailer, and I guess it worked. His massive ego meant that his subjects included Picasso, Marilyn Monroe, Muahmmed Ali and Lee Harvey Oswald. Oh, and Jesus and Hitler. This third novel of his from 1955 is his Hollywood novel, mostly set in a Palm Springs like town in the desert. You don't feel the weight of his personality as you do in other books, but you don't feel much of anything. His characters and situations are unconvincing, uninteresting and unlikable. It is time to re-evaluate his place in American letters.
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