Book Review

This book spoke to me. It
Has as a protagonist a young man
Of perhaps twenty, who is on a
Vision quest of sorts, involving
Tropical birds and shares of IBM.
We are never told what he seeks.

The author sticks to the straight-
-And-narrow, yet ranges
Through various landscapes of the
Protagonist's life, aided by a shift-
-Ing point-of-view. Part of the story
Is told by his cockatiel, Ruth.

I felt that the use of metaphors
Was illuminating, the style
Detail-rich and full of buoyancy.
For example, Ruth "was green as
a four-leaf clover". Such prose!
Reminiscent of DeGroat, or Marchese.

By the end, we know the main
Character perhaps better than we'd like.
I will not spoil it, but the introduction
Of a member of the Brazilian royal
Family was a master stroke.
A major young writer bursts upon the scene.

Simon & Schuster, hardcover, $29.95.

Librarians involved in collection development see a LOT of book reviews, in such magazines as Library Journal, Publisher's Weekly, and others. While library-oriented publications usually go out of their way to make clear what kind of audience might like a particular book, and what kind of library should think of buying it, other magazines are a little less goal-oriented in their reviews.

I wrote this poem after reading quite a few of this type of review: oriented towards some abstract ideal of literary merit, mentioning not even enough of the plot to attract the reader, and leaving the librarian still clueless about whether to purchase the book. I'm sure I'll read many more. This is not necessarily a bad kind of book review (why should we be hand-fed our decision to purchase or not to purchase?), but gosh darned if it isn't ubiquitous.

Are you starting to get the feeling that I'll complain about just about anything? Well, now, no...I feel pretty uniformly good about, for example, Easter candy...the apartment...Middle Eastern food...

*Jennifer ends non-sequitur before it gets out-of-hand*

©12/26/96 by Jennifer Friedman