It’s a rare book review that reviews the book. Most reviews limit their scope to a book’s words — lost, floating words, of course, not words on a page. We review ideas from words — of words, at best. For our bearings we use a sky of genres: poetry, nonfiction, the novel. We can’t bear to watch ourselves read, and we dismiss the reader (ourselves) as a guide. We really write novel reviews, not book reviews.
But how can we learn about a stone if we don’t watch its descent into the pond we send it skipping across? The kingdom of reading is submarine, from the pond’s surface to the mucked-up bottom our lights don’t reach. The stone of a book may get there, though. To push my metaphor: we don’t learn about the stone because we don’t want to get wet.
You got a book review here. You got yourself a reader and a book with real pages and covers and words that go in and out of the reader. Beautiful scope and execution here on many levels. I’ve never read the book and may never. But I’m inspired to do some two-fisted reading this weekend.