Someone once told me that a reader wrote to him saying he wanted to cuddle with his words. I was appalled. What made it worse was the fact that this reader was male, and obviously so was the person whose words he wanted to cuddle. In a world with billions of adjectives, millions of synonyms and thousands of idioms, was this the most creative way to explain his admiration for the writer’s work?
In the last few days, I have been suffering from a book hangover. See, I was reading All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr which came to a dramatic halt last Saturday. If you follow me on social media you must probably be wondering how slow my reading pace is, given that I used to hang out with that book and my Sangria quite a lot towards the end of last year. While I may not be one of the fastest readers, I would not spend months on a page turner. Most importantly, it would be a travesty to Anthony’s decade long investment into this sublime Pulitzer winner if anyone spent six months reading it. Would you believe he spent a whole DECADE putting together that masterpiece? Here I am, writing essays in 45 minutes for you guys every Monday (and sometimes Wednesdays and Fridays) and hoping to win the Bake Award for the Best Lifestyle Blog, yet this guy spent 10 years writing one book! (I hope that doesn’t deter you from voting if you haven’t hehe)
Six months are exactly the time it took me to find out if the blind French girl reunited with her dad and what became of the diminutive orphaned genius German boy. Here’s what happened, we moved houses in Dec and I misplaced the book, among other things like my favorite comb (which may have inspired me to cut my hair).
Last week as I was ferreting through the upper closets looking for a travel bag I had not used in ages, I found an old handbag lying there like a desolate moor, covered in dust. A burgundy wet-look hand bag, big enough to fit my toilet bag (the one I carry to the gym which holds the shower gel, lotion, face cream, deo, cologne…), sunglasses, a change of clothes (because who knows, I may wake up in a strange house), several books, super glue and a comb. The bag was remarkably prodigious. When I pulled the zipper, guess what I found lying inside the middle pocket? My book! I stared hard just to make sure my eyes were not playing tricks on me, carefully picked it up worried that perhaps there was some super glue in the bag that the book may have decided to form a bond with out of loneliness. The following day, on the flight to Mombasa, I was in Saint Malo, France witnessing the ruthlessness of the Nazis and the stoicism of the blind French girl. I consumed whatever I had left pending in 1 hour and immediately regretted why I rushed through it.
I have since been suffering from a book hangover. You may wonder where I find time to read for fun given that I am always complaining about how I can’t find enough time to read for my exams. When my mind shuts down and I don’t want to see another weirdly named formula like the Dickey Fuller test or Beneish model, I turn to the exciting reads as that’s how my head cools off.
For the last one week, I have been craving Anthony Doerr ‘s words. I have been wanting to get lost in the world he describes so spectacularly. I needed immense fortitude to endure this self-inflicted book hangover. So what did I do? I scoured the internet for anything by him, on him or for him that I could find. Essays, interviews, reviews on his books. Check out his website anthonydoerr.com for links to his essays.
One critic, Carmen Callil, praises his work but complains about the use of too many adjectives. In her words “No noun sits upon the page without the decoration of at least one adjective, and sometimes, alas, with two or three. And these adjectives far too often are of the glimmering, glowing, pellucid variety.” She claims that “Doerr’s prose style is high-pitched, operatic, relentless” which, in her opinion “makes the novel far too long”.
But Doerr’s descriptiveness is exactly what I fell in love with. It is refreshing, like a chilled coke on a hot Saturday afternoon. I have read so much of his work (not books though) I may just begin to sound like him. His words are flavorful and sublime. Which finally made me understand why that guy wanted to cuddle with another man’s words.
P.S Now if you could please recommend your best reads and by best I mean a book you could actually read again from cover to cover, something I plan on doing with All The Light We Cannot See.
P.S.S. Voting for the Bake Awards closes tomorrow. Your vote could be the reason we win ?. Best Lifestyle Blog, Category 19.a.