Selected Critical Reactions

Media & Interviews | Book Reviews

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Bill the Goat’s Adult Refresher Guide to Writing.

“There are a limited few that have mastered both worlds [of writing and editing]. …Those successful few must rely on wit and wisdom periodically interspersed with the tools of the trade.  One such tool just entering  the marketplace is Professor Bruce Fleming’s Bill the Goat’s Adult Refresher Guide to Writing. … Fleming focuses on the reasons why the rules exist. . . This refreshing approach enables the reader to immediately (and hopefully for the long-term) understand why we write the way we do. Even if you are a grammar expert (or editor) give Bill a try. You will be better for the experience.” Robert Taylor, Parameters: U.S. War College Quarterly (Editor’s Shelf)

Annapolis Autumn: Life, Death, and Literature at the U.S. Naval Academy.

“Bruce Fleming should get down on his knees every evening and thank the Lord for the tenure system. [He writes:] “The war novels we read in class show the waste and pointlessness of war.”  . . . All this is absolutely accurate.” Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post

“Bruce Fleming initiates a no-holds-barred conversation about the task of teaching literature to Naval cadets. His anecdotes and analyses often speak to a plight that goes beyond an institution whose students are paid to attend class. Fleming elucidates aspects of the academy’s culture with neither the hushed reverence nor snide cynicism that can accompany writing on the military. Wonderful Stand and Deliver-style scenes... What ties this book together are telling anecdotes that hit on the idiosyncratic nature of masculinity.” John Dicker, City Paper

Art and Argument: What Words Can’t Do and What They Can.

“This work contains wonderful insights into everyday occurrences and helps make certain life experiences seem simple again, in a field that tends to complicate some of the most basic such experiences.” Philosophy in Review

“Let us congratulate Bruce Fleming for having written this book, and for not having written for a coterie but in language that expects to speak to John Doe in the fields of literature and language.” Review of Metaphysics

Science and the Self: The Scale of Knowledge.

“Unlike ostentatious, disingenuous, ‘theoretical’ tracts, Fleming’s book possesses a distinctive and personal voice. While remaining respectful of the achievements and the fruits of science, Fleming equally pays tribute to the essential, subjective intricacies of human existence. . . . The author’s grasp of the objective stance of philosophy and science is both refreshing and noble.” –P. B. Gonzalez, Bridges

A Structure Opera.

“Fleming builds a postmodern sandwich that even Dagwood could admire.” Review of Contemporary Fiction

Dance Essays: Sex, Art, and Audience.  

“Fleming excels as reporter, observer, and soothsayer.”  Village Voice

Twilley.  A Novel.

“The style of the book is riveting, the seamless blending of the banal—described as if seen for the first time—with the meditative and the fabulous offers a fascinating texture. At its best Fleming’s writing suggests the verbal effluence of Henry James’s allusive style and Marcel Proust’s network of nebulous images and memories. The tone of Twilley is literary and philosophical at once. . . Imagine Thoreau totally numb to the excesses and absurdities of commercial culture while still attempting to find ‘meaning’ in the superficiality of this world. This is Twilley.”  David Clippinger, Rain Taxi Review of Books

“Twilley is equal parts detailed noticing, wild imagining, and good language… Bruce Fleming keeps company with several of the masters of modern literature.”  Baltimore Sun

“Conjectures and asides swell the narrative.  Objects give off eerie vibes. Mr. Fleming trains a microscopic eye on images of decay worthy of the director David Lynch.”  Chronicle of Higher Education

“Fleming navigates with the skill and brio of a master literary mariner.”  Frigatezine

“What makes this book interesting is the force of language that magnifies the most insignificant details. It's like seeing pond water under a microscope for the first time.” (Speed Reader)

An Essay in Post Romantic Literary Theory: Art, Artifact, and the Innocent Eye.

“It abounds in astute observations on art and artists and on the acts of seeing and reading and other experiences of mind and senses.” Haverford Magazine

"The Autobiography of Gertrude Stein"

"A tour de force." Washington Post (The Magazine Reader)