Washington Post: "In These Disappointing Essays, David Mamet Can’t Close The Deal" by David Oppenheimer
David Mamet is inarguably one of our greatest living playwrights, and no small talent as a director. His boldness, his wit, his hard-nosed ability to show us our own demons and our own follies would suggest that anything at all he care to write would be worth reading.
Writing in The Washington Post, however, Daniel Oppenheimer finds Mamet's new e-book (Recessional: The Death of Free Speech and the Cost of a Free Lunch) to be a disappointment:
Telling an author what he should have written is one of the cardinal sins of book criticism. In the case of Recessional, though, it seems like the only critically generous thing to do. Because the alternative is to dwell on the book as it is, which is a pale facsimile of my hypothetical. “Recessional” isn’t really a book at all but a McBook. It’s a collection of disparate pieces, written mostly as columns for National Review, that are given back to us in book form only because the author has a big name and there’s some money to be made — or at least a valuable relationship to be massaged. Mamet doesn’t like public school teachers. He doesn’t like pacifists. He likes Donald Trump. He likes Israel. He doesn’t like Black Lives Matter or Occupy Wall Street. He likes God. He doesn’t like coronavirus restrictions. He really, really doesn’t like liberals.