Kindle Bashing

The Amazon Kindle 2

The dreaded but much appreciated Kindle... Image via Wikipedia

I have been bashing my Kindle bit lately. Not on purpose, of course, but by accident, repeatedly. I’ve dropped it on countless occasions, each time drawing in my breath, silently praying that it will survive and thanking the cover which protects my device in the hope of the Kindle’s survival, and, perhaps more importantly, the continuing of my reading.

The Kindle is not my primary format for reading, but it does play a vital role in my literary cycles. This is mainly due to the vast array of free extracts and, more importantly, classics which I know I can both browse and own without paying so much as a penny. That much is key.

However, the pure, physical and quite possibly tea-stained book still holds place in my heart. After all, I still use a fully functioning library and have a small family collection which I like to dip into, not to mention the insecurity I feel every time I carry my Kindle in my bag (“Is it still in my rucksack? Perhaps I left it back there. I’ll just check my bag for the seventeenth time this hour…”), and the aforementioned tension when I drop it. These problems will, of course, wear away with time, but, having had it for over half a year now, I can only wonder how long that will take.

For, as we should all know, reading and, indeed, any form of recreation should be consumed without responsibilities. You should not be worrying about this or that or what if or maybe… It is, after all, the book that really matters. Until then, I suppose the Kindle will never really take over my reading habits completely, books free or not. But, man, am I glad to use it still.

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As well as my first review, I’ve added a Reading/Read page, Favourite Books, and furthered the About page to have a few links with sections of review and general uncategorised but not necessarily unwanted posts. These may become of use if either this blog or myself live to see the day in which there is a reasonable amount of posts, so I thought I’d be optimistic and get in their early. Enjoy.

UPDATE: Screw the About page bit, as I’ve added a menu to navigate reviews.


The Interrogative Mood – Padgett Powell

Cover of "The Interrogative Mood: A Novel...

Cover of The Interrogative Mood: A Novel?

Well, here I go: my first book review. Jeepers!

Anyway, a book I have been dipping in and out of, and have been reading in a reasonably chronological order (not as easy as it sounds in this case) is The Interrogative Mood by Padgett Powell. What makes the book special? It is made entirely of questions.

Yep, you read right. Just questions and queries, without a single answer, for a considerable amount of pages. When I originally bought the book, I had no intention of buying it, and had not even heard of its author (who, by the way, wrote Edisto which was nominated for the American Book Award way back in 1984), never mind the work itself. However, it was the iconic front cover design which drew me in, which consisted of a seemingly confused man holding a dauntingly red question mark amidst the white background in which it lies. Curious, I walked over to the place where it stood and picked up a copy. I was instantly hooked.

The mere idea of a novel written with countless questions bewildered me, and, after reading it, you realise the sheer technical ability of the author. The fact is that the concept of this book shouldn’t work, and shouldn’t be published; it’s only Powell’s amazing ingenuity which keeps it going. Indeed, in this case at least, I would be more willing to describe the author as an inventor or, perhaps more fittingly, a wordsmith compared with the terms artist or writer. It is a construction of interconnected questions, which depend on each other to make sense while keeping their random-like feel. Without this sense in the chaos, the book may still be readable, but barely remarkable in its flow, perhaps even the work of a child. Powell, however, retains this.

In fact, he does so in such a way as to explore the depths of modern culture and humanity to a microscopic level, bringing up thoughts and matters which needed such an arousing. I mean, as to take a question from the top of my head, where do you stand in relation to the potato? OK, admittedly that wasn’t the best example of his soul-searching, but instead a showing of his absurd surrealism which is deployed during the work, which are just as important as any of the other questions. Indeed, from the vast plains to the tiniest molecules, Powell leaves nothing untouched, and an interestingly strange section of questions concerned on the matter of what you would say if Jimi Hendrix suddenly offered to play some guitar to you was one of my favourite parts, and the narrator (or should I say questioner?) was a character which you could really connect with thanks to his flaws.

In short, this is a great book. A grand machine of a novel, with great mechanisms and tiny intricacies, it truly shows the work of a technical expert, mastering what seemed to be the impossible by taking the 2nd-person narrative (a rarely used mechanism in itself) to the extreme. I mean, who said inventiveness was gone? Because, whoever did, Padgett Powell just proved them wrong.

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Alright, this blog, despite some trouble logging in, is up and running now. I think. All should transmit smoothly and connect reasonably quickly. No better time to do an intro then, no?

With perseverance and luck, this should become a site of opinions and review on books and literary things, but don’t expect miracles. Instead, wait for a bunch of irregularly updated nonsense, which is a shame to WordPress, a shame to blogging, even a shame to the almighty, all-accepting internet. It will probably be that bad. You should probably just close the window and run for your life, but that would be silly. I mean, what can a cheapskate blog do, to me? Nothing, right? Right?


Testing, testing…

I do hope this works. Until I get the hang of this damn old thing, I’m stuck with this pink background. Grrr…

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