Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Next Right Thing

Posted by Kurt

I really didn't expect to finish this book. My impression for the first few chapters was, "Wow, this is like a regular bad airport paperback, but with added preachy Recovery jargon." Characters bounce around the various settings, not so much having conversations as quoting from the Big Book at each other. Even when they aren't spouting proverbs from 12-step programs, the dialogue is simply horrendous (for example, a young woman bursts into a scene to stop someone from hitting her friend, and when the potential aggressor asks if he knows her, she responds, "You should. Because a******s like you have been stepping on my feet and ramming pencils up my nose since before I knew what feet and pencils were. You've got a big f*****g truck where your soul should be, and you want to drive it over someone, but you can't because it's encased in flesh and you would die if you tried." I'm serious. This dialogue is presented as realistic for the situation. If you buy this book, then you are paying for this dialogue.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

What to Look for in Winter: A Memoir in Blindness

Posted by Kurt

Candia McWilliam is a supernaturally gifted writer, able to craft prose into unforgettable images and potent insights.  Her latest book contains breathtaking observations and crippling emotional honesty.  What a shame, then, that so much of it is a waste of her talent that makes the memoir as a whole such a chore to finish.