Crowley (English, Yale Univ.) is renowned for his complex, highly intellectual, historically centered novels, e.g., Engine Summer, Daemonomania, and Lord Byron's Novel. His first work of nonfiction assembles more than 40 pieces, including a brief autobiography, a set of essays on his philosophy of writing, and numerous studies and reviews of writers he considers seminal. In a section titled "Comix," he examines the graphic work of the 20th century, from comic strips like George Herriman's "Krazy Kat" to Walt Kelley's "Pogo" (the lack of illustration here is a problem). Crowley's heroes range from novelist Vladimir Nabokov to science fiction writer Thomas Disch. Although he considers himself neither a scholar nor a historian-"making suggestive remarks is more my job," he writes-Crowley's analyses offer a distinctive blend of scholarship, literary history, and readability. Good for specialized and general collections, although pricey.-Shelley Cox, emerita, Southern Illinois Univ. Lib., Carbondale Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.