2009.06.13 A Backwards Glance at Nothing Good:

A Sideways Look at Time
A Sideways Look at Time by Jay Griffiths

My review
rating: 1 of 5 stars
It's not often that I will actually STOP reading a book, on purpose, once I've started. Sure, sometimes I'll put it down for a while and come back to it later, but like leaving in the middle of a movie, putting down a book—for good—without finishing it is something I just don't do.

Well, now I have.

The premise of this book intrigued me, with its vague intimations of a philosophic and Zen inspired discourse on time—how we perceive it, and how we might get back to a better relationship with it. Presumably, that discourse exists somewhere within the book, but I wasn't able to slog through the first few chapters to get to the meat of it.

The author is apparently of an American school of writing influenced heavily by the Beats. His prose attempts that Kerouackian stream-of-consciousness that Jack managed to pull off with energy and weight, but which this author only stumbles around with, coming off as amatuerish and disjointed. The book feels like a first draft, with the author repeating the same ideas several times in the course of several paragraphs, and revisiting them again later in the same chapter. By the third reading of the same statement, the reader is left saying "OK! I get it! Can we move on!"

Coupled with repeated assertions, the author employs broad, seemingly faulty interpretations of events or social phenomena to support his ideas. The first few times these weak arguments show up, the reader may be willing to overlook or forgive. But with each additional instance, the reader's patience is tried and the author begins to seem like a buffoon.

Ultimately, as I said, I only made it through the first few chapters before I had had enough of the faux-progressive prose and faulty logic. The book comes across as something that might have been an interesting idea for a 10-20 page essay, which has been expanded—to its great detriment—into a full-length book.

For the premise alone, I wish I could recommend the book… but I can't. Don't buy it, spend your precious time on something worthwhile.

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- 12:42 pm :: permalink :: 2 comments
categories ::  Rants - Upset/Dislike

2 Responses to “A Backwards Glance at Nothing Good:”

Javan said:

Bipolar is dead?

# October 1, 2010,

m@ said:

He's not dead! He's resting.

He's pining for the fjords!

# October 1, 2010,