"I don't actually read other peoples' books. If I want to read a book, I write one myself."
Terry Eagleton, responding to the question "Have you read anything good lately?" New York Times Magazine, April 22, 2007.
Eagleton reviewed Ewen & Ewen's Typecasting in The London Review of Books last fall. When his review came out—in spite of a number of very favorable comments he made about the book—a number of readers we heard from wondered if the once trendy academician had actually read the book. Most of Eagelton's rant was consumed by a wandering vindication of stereotyping, drawing on his personal takes on the various tribes of Britain. The only substantive discussion of the book, where he enumerated its strengths, can be found on this site. Whether the "review" was based on a full read (something he claims never to do), or an obligatory skim, remains unclear. His recent admission, however, suggests that it may have been drafted by the seat of his pants.