Books by Norman Mailer

MIND OF AN OUTLAW by Norman Mailer
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: Oct. 15, 2013

"As good an introduction to Mailer's habits of mind as there's ever been, though there's also room for an anthology blending the greatest hits of his fiction as well as his sharp-edged essays."
Further advertisements for himself by the late and increasingly not-so-well-remembered bad boy of postwar American literature. Read full book review >
THE CASTLE IN THE FOREST by Norman Mailer
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 31, 2007

"Alternately engaging, embarrassing and exasperating."
A novel as odd as it is thematically ambitious reveals the source of Adolf Hitler's evil. (The devil made him do it.) Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 1, 2006

"Norman remains a national treasure, and his fans must be grateful to his son for convincing the old man to sit down and answer a few questions. His answers are illuminating, annoying, amusing."
Reflections, rants and racy ruminations by the octogenarian author of The Naked and the Dead and other gems of American literature, interspersed with occasional questions and comments from his 27-year-old son, who is wise enough to know which of Mailer's thoughts are of greater interest. Read full book review >
THE SPOOKY ART by Norman Mailer
Released: Jan. 31, 2003

"Mailer's richest thoughts on writing since the shock of Advertisements for Myself."
More than 50 years after he first staked his claim to the title of Great American Novelist, Mailer surveys the literary landscape—and the competition. Read full book review >
THE TIME OF OUR TIME by Norman Mailer
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 6, 1998

"Still, this is a unique, and very useful, work, and certainly the best possible introduction to one of the most prodigious careers in modern American letters."
Anticipating his eventual biographers by identifying the themes that have animated his work, and apparently anxious to remind the current literary audience of some of the highlights in his massive body of work and lengthy career, Mailer has come up with a typically idiosyncratic version of an anthology. Read full book review >
THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO THE SON by Norman Mailer
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 1, 1997

"It's lucid, competent, to all appearances sincere—and thoroughly unexceptional."
One of the most curious products of Mailer's perpetually surprising career, this gracefully written short novel chronicles the life of Jesus, as told by Himself long after his crucifixion and assumption into heaven. Read full book review >
PORTRAIT OF PICASSO AS A YOUNG MAN by Norman Mailer
HISTORY
Released: Oct. 1, 1995

"Mailer's biography, following in the footsteps of Arianna Huffington's notorious Picasso: Creator and Destroyer, a work Mailer unabashedly admires, emphasizes gossip and sex and leaves you wondering, "So what?""
A puzzling and unconventional excursion into art history by an unexpected author. Read full book review >
OSWALD'S TALE by Norman Mailer
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 1, 1995

"Judicious, painstaking, and imaginative, this should be a central book in a growing and undependable canon."
Mailer subtly exercises his novelist's imagination and expends considerable journalistic shoe-leather probing our central cultural conundrum — Lee Harvey Oswald: Patsy or Lone Assassin? Read full book review >
HARLOT'S GHOST by Norman Mailer
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 15, 1991

The Big One, volume one (yes, 1,408 pages!) of Mailer's long-promised masterpiece, in which he does for the CIA what Melville did for mammals and God, and what Thomas Mann did for the metaphysics of tuberculosis. Read full book review >
TOUGH GUYS DON'T DANCE by Norman Mailer
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 20, 1984

"But it's a thin, disappointing potpourri overall—seemingly made up as it goes along, with about equal portions of inspiration and self-indulgence."
After the grandiose, obsessive longueurs of Ancient Evenings (1983), most readers will find the opening chapter of this new Mailer novel a relief—since it seems to promise the most familiar, controlled sort of fiction. Read full book review >
ANCIENT EVENINGS by Norman Mailer
Released: April 25, 1983

"And though there are passages of vividly exotic Egyptology, along with a few of coarsely amusing anachronism, this flatly episodic epic most often seems embalmed in its own obsessions—with little to reward the many readets who'll be drawn by the Mailer name and the media interest."
Egypt, 1100 B.C.: a narrator without memory ("I still did not know who I was, nor how old I might be") finds himself in the Necropolis, in the tomb of young, dead nobleman Menenhetet the Second. . . and only slowly realizes that he is in fact "nothing but the poor Ka" (part of the soul) of Meni II. Read full book review >
PIECES AND PONTIFICATIONS by Norman Mailer
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: May 1, 1982

"No surprises, then, and rarely deep—but also rarely dull: Mailer-mania for the sizable following."
Minor Mailer—at great length. Read full book review >
THE EXECUTIONER'S SONG by Norman Mailer
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 15, 1979

The life story of double-murderer Gary Gilmore and a new, impressive book for Mailer, a thousand-page leviathan achieved at an awesome price. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 25, 1976

"Appropriately, a Miller chronology is appended."
In 1959, Mailer notes, Lawrence Durrell put together an anthology of his friend Henry Miller's "least obscene writings." Read full book review >
SOME HONORABLE MEN by Norman Mailer
Released: April 1, 1976

"The inclusion of photographs seems a mistake; Mailer's politics zoom larger than life."
To muse over like old film clips in this election year, here are Mailer's four newsmaking reports of conventions past—including the whole of Miami and the Siege of Chicago—with a preface that invites us to consider them together. Read full book review >
THE FIGHT by Norman Mailer
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: July 21, 1975

"Go in peace to the bar.""
Norman Mailer, rechristened No'min, takes on the heart of Blackness in darkest Africa as he plunges into the vital spirits of Muhammad Ali and George Foreman in their recent Heavyweight title clash in Zaire (once the huge protectorate of the Congo), and comes up a winner. Read full book review >
MARILYN by Norman Mailer
Released: Aug. 1, 1973

"The dazzling transaction that was Marilyn is all that matters and her immanent allure — so hard to isolate or perpetuate — is as palpable as it ever was."
The necessary specifics first (before you flinch at the one with the dollar sign above) — this is a coffee-table-shaped photovisual presentation of Marilyn including some 100 photographs (full page, black and white or color) representing the work of 24 major photographers. Read full book review >
EXISTENTIAL ERRANDS by Norman Mailer
Released: April 17, 1972

Maybe Prisoner of Sex revitalized Mailer for detractors as well as admirers, but you don't have to be a feminist to put this book down. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 25, 1971

"Everything is represented but The Prisoner of Sex in this mailange introduced by Lucid."
. . . a long patrol into the territory of Mailer's writing," including four chapters of The Naked and the Dead, six selections from Advertisements for Myself, early portions of An American Dream, some poems and stories from Cannibals and Christians, up through bits from Of a Fire on the Moon. Read full book review >
PRISONER OF SEX by Norman Mailer
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: May 27, 1971

"Smug and snug he gives a virtuoso performance certain to enrage the emancipated still further."
Disingenuously shocked to find himself cast by Women's Lib as the archetypal male chauvinist pig, Mailer takes on Kate Millett (Sexual Politics, 1970) and her sister furies. Read full book review >
OF A FIRE ON THE MOON by Norman Mailer
Released: Jan. 11, 1970

"An excerpt appeared in Life magazine."
Mailer accepts a big assignment to the American mainstream and finds himself at a loss. Read full book review >
Released: May 1, 1968

"Mailer has finally caught a current, plotted a drift, however, and this is an important and passionate pilgrimage."
Once history inhabits a crazy house, egotism may be the last tool left to history" and Mailer the Beast rampant, narrow-eyed Mailer the Novelist, mesmerized Mailer the Participant, tip-top Mailer the Protagonist; Mailer the floating hair Patriot, and just pliant innerman Norm, have together pulled off this remarkable journal, even overtaking Mailer the Image to burst into new playing fields of awareness. Read full book review >
CANNIBALS AND CHRISTIANS by Norman Mailer
Released: Aug. 29, 1966

"Humorlessly striving for a mystic orgy, wasting a huge talent, Mailer reads like some middle-aged volcano spewing burning issues for the young."
Norman Mailer might well place Ockham's adage above his desk: "Entities are not to be multiplied unless necessary." Read full book review >
AN AMERICAN DREAM by Norman Mailer
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 15, 1965

"Yeats, who never read Norman Mailer."
The public death of Walter Mitty, alias Norman Mailer, (alias, wishfully speaking anyway, Jack Kennedy), represented by the concoction, recently serialized in Esquire, now hard-covered, bearing the title, An American Dream, bearing also the same relationship to An American Tragedy as spitballs might be said to bear to the atom bomb, is herewith reviewed. Read full book review >
THE PRESIDENTIAL PAPERS by Norman Mailer
Released: Nov. 8, 1963

"The original subtitle: The Murder of Good Ideas)."
Norman Mailer is the Hamlet of American Letters. Read full book review >
ADVERTISEMENTS FOR MYSELF by Norman Mailer
Released: Nov. 6, 1959

"This is sure to be some kind of success de scandal, but the bullheaded integrity behind the undertaking compels a certain respect."
Norman Mailer has evolved a theory that an author must create a public personality for himself in order to sell books, and in accordance with this theory he here publishes everything he has ever written, each piece accompanied with a long and frequently fascinating introduction concerning how the work was written, what he thought about it when he wrote it, and how he thinks about it now. Read full book review >
THE NAKED AND THE DEAD by Norman Mailer
Released: May 6, 1948

"Watch it."
A brilliant book — but one that makes such harrowing reading, and which is written with such intensity, such bald realism, such unrestrained accuracy of detail in speech and thought, that all but the tough-skinned will turn from it, feeling reluctant to look again on the baring of men's inner beings under stress of jungle warfare. Read full book review >