Mr. Brooks takes an evanescent ethos of the age (one of many, if I am right) and explains that those in its thrall are the new ruling class. He develops a straw man at tedious length. In reality, the bobos such as he describes barely exist. (Even a crude analytic estimate of how many there are and where they are would have helped the thesis.) Further, Brooks damages his rendition of the book by repeatedly pronouncing "mores" to rhyme with "pores", and mispronouncing about a dozen other names and words.
Proust is to literature what Debussy is to music or Monet to painting. And Rowe prove himself a virtuoso in reading Swann's Way.
I like books with smart personalities and clever conversation. Think of Fitzgerald or Salinger's short stories. "Humboldt's Gift" belongs in this company. Even Bellow's lowbrows turn salty phrases and have inner lives. This narrator especially brings these rich characters to life.
Plus, the book offers several levels. The intellectual patina that the first person gives to the whole story sparkles. At the same time the story turns on the practical ignorance and ineptitude of intellectuals.
Good books can be enjoyed. Literature can be savored too. This good book is literature.
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