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At his best, Bloom is an insightful and entertaining critic. At his worst he is lazy, undisciplined, and derivative. This book unfortunately belongs to the second category. There are occasional flashes of insight but mostly it is a pastiche of cliches, scholarly gossip, and sweeping generalizations. Especially regrettable is the tendency to substitute name-dropping and interpretation-by-association for actual comment on the books in question. A pity to see Bloom's formidable powers squandered on a book like this.
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