Friday, April 06, 2012

The Global Real-Time Reviewing Project

Extract from my real-time review of 'The Book of Bunk' by Glen Hirshberg HERE.

From “I don’t know the beginning” to “‘Nothing here is really yours.’”

‘So I just decided you might ought to put this place in your tourbook. Even if it’s not really a place anymore. Just in case one day … I don’t know.’”

And at Screwpine we reach some major plot hub that is susceptible, no doubt, to despoiling-by-review. Which I don’t intend to do. Suffice to say that, although I have been on various audit-trails with my Hirshberg reading-orgy of the last few weeks, I think I have reached a goal that somehow I knew I would reach: “‘A real Reconstruction.’” Not a parallel world. Not a Paul Dent, our protagonist, as Winston Smith, not even as a Big Brother manqué or some Wizard of Oz behind the controls, but certainly as a force even more powerful perhaps than the Lewis figure who dogs him. This Screwpine ‘hub’ and its ‘story’ seems to be a stunning geomantic vision that effectively stems from all the ‘points’ and inter-connections that each reader should discover for him- or herself heretofore, i.e. a different set of such spokes of the millwell-wheel for each reader, but always reaching some significant hub where we all arrive eventually in some Lost-type base with contraptions to tweak and dormitories of bunk-beds. And the possible arrival of a ‘Key’ writing-figure as an even bigger catalyst than any of us? The only way, perhaps, indeed, to review or simply discuss this ”Book of Bunk” is by some method of real-time mini-reviews written and imparted whenever we ‘choose’ breaks for sectioning or triangulating the text by the ‘Godgiven’ foibles and accidents of life and by the time-spans available for our creative reading amid all those other pressures of existence. We all do this naturally when reading any book but do we then cohere the cumulative piecemeal reactions that we find ourselves feeling? Do we aim for a single sweeping review after we’ve finished the book or for something far more special that only special books can summon or instil in us even beyond our own perceived ability to achieve? I hereby inaugurate, at this junction of the tracks, the Global Real-Time Reviewing Project. More of this later. Meanwhile, of course, I may not have reached this book’s ‘hub’ at all, having so far only read about 60% of the text. I do wish ebooks had page numbers! (6 Apr 12 – 4.35 pm bst)

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