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julianmeynell

Julian Meynell's Books

I like Books.

If on a Winter's Night a Traveler

If on a Winter's Night a Traveler - William Weaver, Italo Calvino The book is really about the experience of reading and writing and about what a book is and what it is for. The book is pure postmodern literature, which is not really my thing, although I found this book enjoyable.

It is told in the second person and the reader or you is the main character. During the course of the book the reader starts 10 different books and the openings are included.

The book is experimental, charmingly written and full of interesting ideas. It also is without much of the annoying stupidity of post-modernism, and devoid of the normal irritating arrogance. Unlike some books that have been influenced by it, such as Cloud Atlas, its devices are not just gimmicks and Cavalino has certainly something to say. But in the end, I can't see this book staying with me much. It didn't rock my world or anything like that, although it is well written and fun.

These kinds of books are almost inevitably devoid of strong emotion, but sometimes there can be a kind of intellectual intensity, which I did not find here. It reminds me, in away of a more intellectual and continental, but less funny Douglas Adams. I don't think that most people will think about it that way, but I actually think that there is a lot of truth to that, because in both those books there is intellectual game playing and whimsy with some philosophical exploration. So even though one would be seen as literary and the other one as genre, there is a great commonality between them.

Pleasant enough and I can see that some people will be blown away by it. I enjoyed the use of the second person and the books awareness of itself, but really its not a great work. It is more like a fun intellectual game, than anything else.