“Be regular and orderly in your life like a bourgeois,” Flaubert wrote, “so that you may be violent and original in your work.” Try telling that to Norman Mailer. He fought in the war and he fought in bars. He had six wives and stabbed one of them. He drank heavily, took drugs, slept with anyone he could and stood for New York mayor. He fell out with everyone who picked up a pen. Amid the mayhem he wrote great journalism, wildly uneven novels, bad poetry and made truly abysmal films. At his best he lived originally, challenging every constricting convention; at his worst he was simply violent.