Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Episode 1094: To Damn With Faint Praise?

Have been stuck on the same paragraph (third of four) of my review of Jack R. Johnson's An Animal's Guide To Salvation for about an hour. Need to finish it by tonight because it's due, but with the time difference between Singapore and the UK of seven hours, I still have a bit of leeway. I believe it's actually the closest I've ever cut it for a review. Shouldn't have left it so late to begin with (I've come to realise that I always do), as it should only have taken me an afternoon to read the whole PDF, instead of dragging it out over a few nights like I have. Anyway, the problem I'm having at the moment is that there's nothing especially awful about the book, but it's somehow not been a particularly satisfying read either. It's adequate, would be the most succinct way of putting it. Except to put it that bluntly just feels mean-spirited, I guess? So I've been dancing around the issue, trying not to damn with faint praise whilst still being fair to the book. It's always challenging when the material for review falls into this grey area. Don't have another review due after this one till the end of October, although I'm expecting a book of poetry from Drunken Boat that may have been lost in the post, and there's the PDF Cameron Conaway sent me not too long ago that I need to place with one of the sites I review for.

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