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On God

An Uncommon Conversation

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Paperback published by Random House Trade Paperbacks (Random House Publishing Group)

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About This Book
“I see God,” wrote Norman Mailer, “as a Creator, as the greatest artist. I see human beings as His most developed artworks.” In these moving, amusing, and probing dialogues conducted in the years before his death, Mailer establishes his own system of belief, rejecting both organized religion and atheism. He avows that sensual pleasures were bestowed on us by God; he finds fault with the Ten Commandments; and he holds that technology was the Devil’s most brilliant creation. In short, Mailer is original and unpredictable in this inspiring journey, in which “God needs us as much as we need God.”
 
Praise for On God
 
“[Norman Mailer’s] theology is not theoretical to him. After eight decades, it is what he believes. He expects no adherents, and does not profess to be a prophet, but he has worked to forge his beliefs into a coherent catechism.”New York
 
“The glory of an original mind in full provocation.”USA Today
 
“At once illuminating and exciting . . . a chance to see Mailer’s intellect as well as his lively conversational style of speech.”American Jewish Life
 
“Remarkable . . . [Mailer’s] a believer—in his own fashion. . . . He has made [God] into a complex character.”The Globe and Mail
 
Praise for Norman Mailer
 
“[Norman Mailer] loomed over American letters longer and larger than any other writer of his generation.”The New York Times
 
“A writer of the greatest and most reckless talent.”The New Yorker
 
“Mailer is indispensable, an American treasure.”The Washington Post
 
“A devastatingly alive and original creative mind.”Life
 
“Mailer is fierce, courageous, and reckless and nearly everything he writes has sections of headlong brilliance.”The New York Review of Books
 
“The largest mind and imagination [in modern] American literature . . . Unlike just about every American writer since Henry James, Mailer has managed to grow and become richer in wisdom with each new book.”Chicago Tribune
 
“Mailer is a master of his craft. His language carries you through the story like a leaf on a stream.”The Cincinnati Post
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“I see God,” wrote Norman Mailer, “as a Creator, as the greatest artist. I see human beings as His most developed artworks.” In these moving, amusing, and probing dialogues conducted in the years before his death, Mailer establishes his own system of belief, rejecting both organized religion and atheism. He avows that sensual pleasures were bestowed on us by God; he finds fault with the Ten Commandments; and he holds that technology was the Devil’s most brilliant creation. In short, Mailer is original and unpredictable in this inspiring journey, in which “God needs us as much as we need God.”
 
Praise for On God
 
“[Norman Mailer’s] theology is not theoretical to him. After eight decades, it is what he believes. He expects no adherents, and does not profess to be a prophet, but he has worked to forge his beliefs into a coherent catechism.”New York
 
“The glory of an original mind in full provocation.”USA Today
 
“At once illuminating and exciting . . . a chance to see Mailer’s intellect as well as his lively conversational style of speech.”American Jewish Life
 
“Remarkable . . . [Mailer’s] a believer—in his own fashion. . . . He has made [God] into a complex character.”The Globe and Mail
 
Praise for Norman Mailer
 
“[Norman Mailer] loomed over American letters longer and larger than any other writer of his generation.”The New York Times
 
“A writer of the greatest and most reckless talent.”The New Yorker
 
“Mailer is indispensable, an American treasure.”The Washington Post
 
“A devastatingly alive and original creative mind.”Life
 
“Mailer is fierce, courageous, and reckless and nearly everything he writes has sections of headlong brilliance.”The New York Review of Books
 
“The largest mind and imagination [in modern] American literature . . . Unlike just about every American writer since Henry James, Mailer has managed to grow and become richer in wisdom with each new book.”Chicago Tribune
 
“Mailer is a master of his craft. His language carries you through the story like a leaf on a stream.”The Cincinnati Post
Product Details
Paperback (240 pages)
Published: November 4, 2008
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Imprint: Random House Trade Paperbacks
ISBN: 9780812979404
Other books byNorman Mailer
  • Mind of an Outlaw

    Mind of an Outlaw
    Selected Essays
    NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE GLOBE AND MAIL Norman Mailer was one of the towering figures of twentieth-century American letters and an acknowledged master of the essay. Mind of an Outlaw, the first posthumous publication from this outsize literary icon, collects Mailer’s most important and representative work in the form that many rank as his most electrifying.   As America’s foremost public intellectual, Norman Mailer was a ubiquitous presence in our national life—on the airwaves and in print—for more than sixty years. With his supple mind and pugnacious persona, he engaged society more than any other writer of his generation. The trademark Mailer swagger is much in evidence in these pages as he holds forth on culture, ideology, politics, sex, gender, and celebrity, among other topics. Here is Mailer on boxing, Mailer on Hemingway, Mailer on Marilyn Monroe, and, of course, Mailer on Mailer—the one subject that served as the beating heart of all of his nonfiction.   From his early essay “A Credo for the Living,” published in 1948, when the author was twenty-five, to his final writings in the year before his death, Mailer wrestled with the big themes of his times. He was one of the most astute cultural commentators of the postwar era, a swashbuckling intellectual provocateur who never pulled a punch and was rarely anything less than interesting. Mind of an Outlaw spans the full arc of Mailer’s evolution as a writer, including such essential pieces as his acclaimed 1957 meditation on hipsters, “The White Negro”; multiple selections from his seminal collection Advertisements for Myself; and a never-before-published essay on Sigmund Freud.   Incendiary, erudite, and unrepentantly outrageous, Norman Mailer was a dominating force on the battlefield of ideas. Featuring an incisive Introduction by Jonathan Lethem, Mind of an Outlaw forms a fascinating portrait of Mailer’s intellectual development across the span of his career as well as the preoccupations of a nation in the last half of the American century. Praise for Mind of an Outlaw   “[Mind of an Outlaw opens] a window onto the capacious mind and process of one of the most volatile intellects of the twentieth century. . . . Taken individually, these pieces are snapshots of times and places integral to the cultural landscape of America over the last seventy years. Regarded as a whole, they serve as insightful social commentary and justification for continued attention to the writer’s work.”—Library Journal “The 50 essays collected in this retrospective volume span 64 years and show Mailer (1923–2007) at his brawny, pugnacious, and egotistical best. . . . Featuring an introduction by Jonathan Lethem, this provocative collection brims with insights and reflections that show why Mailer is regarded as a great literary mind of his generation.”—Publishers Weekly (A “Top 10” Pick for Fall) “There’s no arguing about Mailer the essayist—he was outstanding. . . . These insightful essays educate, argue and persuade on everything from politics and literature to film, philosophy and the human condition. We could surely use an essayist or television pundit as witty, opinionated and smart as Mailer today.”—Shelf Awareness “By the late . . . bad boy of postwar American literature . . . as good an introduction to Mailer’s habits of mind as there’s ever been.”—Kirkus Reviews

    The Deer Park

    The Deer Park
    A Novel
    Amid the cactus wilds some two hundred miles from Hollywood lies a privileged oasis called Desert D’Or. It is a place for starlets, directors, studio execs, and the well-groomed lowlifes who cater to them. And, as imagined by Norman Mailer in this blistering classic, Desert D’Or is a moral proving ground, where men and women discover what they really want—and how far they are willing to go to get it. As Mailer traces their couplings and uncouplings, their uneasy flirtation with success and self-extinction, he creates a legendary portrait of America’s machinery of desire.   Praise for The Deer Park   “A scathing portrayal of Hollywood . . . studded with brilliant and illuminating passages.”—The New York Times Book Review   “A writer of the greatest and most reckless talent . . . [Mailer] drives us up and down The Deer Park at breakneck speed. It is a trip through unfamiliar country, for a time funny and then unnerving.”—The New Yorker   “Savage . . . brilliant . . . exhilarating.”—The Atlantic Monthly   “Entertaining and wise . . . In addition to his furious energy and true ear, Mailer is simpatico with humanity . . . on a level rare in American fiction.”—The New Republic   Praise for Norman Mailer   “[Norman Mailer] loomed over American letters longer and larger than any other writer of his generation.”—The New York Times   “A writer of the greatest and most reckless talent.”—The New Yorker   “Mailer is indispensable, an American treasure.”—The Washington Post   “A devastatingly alive and original creative mind.”—Life   “Mailer is fierce, courageous, and reckless and nearly everything he writes has sections of headlong brilliance.”—The New York Review of Books   “The largest mind and imagination [in modern] American literature . . . Unlike just about every American writer since Henry James, Mailer has managed to grow and become richer in wisdom with each new book.”—Chicago Tribune   “Mailer is a master of his craft. His language carries you through the story like a leaf on a stream.”—The Cincinnati Post

    The Naked and the Dead

    The Naked and the Dead
    50th Anniversary Edition, With a New...
    Hailed as one of the finest novels to come out of the Second World War, The Naked and the Dead received unprecedented critical acclaim upon its publication and has since become part of the American canon. This fiftieth anniversary edition features a new introduction created especially doe the occasion by Norman Mailer. Written in gritty, journalistic detail, the story follows an army platoon of foot soldiers who are fighting for the possession of the Japanese-held island of Anopopei. Composed in 1948, The Naked and the Dead is representative of the best in twentieth-century American writing.

    The Castle in the Forest

    The Castle in the Forest
    A Novel
    The final work of fiction from Norman Mailer, a defining voice of the postwar era, is also one of his most ambitious, taking as its subject the evil of Adolf Hitler. The narrator, a mysterious SS man in possession of extraordinary secrets, follows Adolf from birth through adolescence and offers revealing portraits of Hitler’s parents and siblings. A crucial reflection on the shadows that eclipsed the twentieth century, Mailer’s novel delivers myriad twists and surprises along with characteristically astonishing insights into the struggle between good and evil that exists in us all.   Praise for The Castle in the Forest   “This remarkable novel about the young Adolf Hitler, his family and their shifting circumstances, is Mailer’s most perfect apprehension of the absolutely alien. . . . Mailer doesn’t inhabit these historical figures so much as possess them.”—The New York Times Book Review   “Terrifically creepy . . . an icy and convincing portrait of the dictator as a young sociopath.”—Entertainment Weekly   “The work of a bold and confident writer who may yet be seen as the preeminent novelist of our time . . . a source of tremendous narrative pleasure . . . Every character . . . lives and breathes.”—South Florida Sun-Sentinel   “Blackly hilarious, beautifully written . . . [The Castle in the Forest] has vigor, excitement, humor and vastness of spirit.”—The New York Observer   Praise for Norman Mailer   “[Norman Mailer] loomed over American letters longer and larger than any other writer of his generation.”—The New York Times   “A writer of the greatest and most reckless talent.”—The New Yorker   “Mailer is indispensable, an American treasure.”—The Washington Post   “A devastatingly alive and original creative mind.”—Life   “Mailer is fierce, courageous, and reckless and nearly everything he writes has sections of headlong brilliance.”—The New York Review of Books   “The largest mind and imagination [in modern] American literature . . . Unlike just about every American writer since Henry James, Mailer has managed to grow and become richer in wisdom with each new book.”—Chicago Tribune   “Mailer is a master of his craft. His language carries you through the story like a leaf on a stream.”—The Cincinnati Post From the Hardcover edition.

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