The Revolt of the Pendulum

Clive James

04 June 2010
336 pages


Wide-ranging, hilarious and enlightening, The Revolt of the Pendulum collects the best of Clive James on art, culture and politics from 2005–2008, showing the author, broadcaster and poet at his dazzling and versatile best.

From the rules of grammar to the fundamentals of religion, from the culture of fandom to the cult of the critic, it's all there in this collection of essays – steeped in Clive's vast learning, his sane intelligence, and his wit.

Whether discussing Kingsley Amis, Camille Paglia, Leni Riefenstahl or Formula 1, Clive is able to focus on the finer points and the bigger picture simultaneously – generating insight across a huge range of subject matter.

'There's only one Clive James' – Sam Leith, Spectator

Clive James
(1939–2019) was a broadcaster, critic, poet, memoirist and novelist. His much-loved, influential and hilarious television criticism is available both in individual volumes and collected in Clive James On Television. His encyclopaedic study of culture and politics in the twentieth century, Cultural Amnesia, remains perhaps the definitive embodiment of his wide-ranging talents as a critic.

Praise for Clive James:

'The perfect critic' – A.O. Scott, New York Times

'There can't be many writers of my generation who haven't been heavily influenced by Clive James' – Charlie Brooker

'A wonderfully witty and intelligent writer' – Verity Lambert

Clive James has a fantastic range and depth of knowledge. He is, at times, miraculously funny. He writes knowledgeably and with passion about literature, and especially poetry. His opinions are his own; he knows about classical music, show tunes and pop. He knows about politics and history. He understands people too. And he makes good jokes . . . There’s only one Clive James