RaveWashington Independent Review of BooksAs dogged in his research into Roth’s life as he is adroit in his reading of Roth’s work, Bailey admirably negotiates the two—sorting the conundrums of life and art embedded in a literary corpus and strategy conceived and executed, in essence, to make them unsortable ... Bailey constructs an engaged and engaging intellectual biography, a portrait of the artist as young, middle-aged, and old man that does both Bailey’s subject and his readers justice ... While Bailey fleshes out Roth’s personal biography with abundant and well-documented details, he also keeps faith with his promise by covering events that sometimes seem uneventful. Roth may have transmuted his \'florid love life\' into art, for example, but its particulars, putting aside Roth’s history with Claire Bloom, are fairly humdrum. That quibble aside, Bailey’s demonstrable skill as a writer mitigates any limitations and amplifies all the strengths inherent in his subject. He offers a clean narrative arranged in six chronological phases and written in brisk and lucid prose ... a masterful work and a very rewarding read.
PositiveWashington Independent Review of BooksThese opinions — unabashedly opinionated opinions — are White’s stock in trade. They can be eccentric...or baffling ... Usually thoughtful, they always provoke thought ... White’s gimlet-eyed fix on writing style is a different matter ... White’s own celebrated style has such finesse that it routinely invests even commonplaces with elegance ... Whether explicit or implicit, everything here rests on White’s sexuality and is seen through it. Since this is a memoir, and not a treatise, White’s identity and experience remain the focus, but they also bristle with extension ... [he] closes The Unpunished Vice on a note neither facetious, facile, nor flip — on a promise made and kept.