Tag: Footnotes

Graham Greene – Yours Etc. | Review

Title: Yours Etc.

Author: Graham Greene

Type: Non-Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 280

Rating: 3*/5

 

Graham Greene - Yours Etc.

Graham Greene – Yours Etc.

 

I’m not really too sure what I expected from this book because it is just a collection of Greene’s letters to the press. I guess I expected to understand what he was talking about a little more. That’s because the letters are pretty much just printed in chronological order without any real context.

Actually, that’s not true. You occasionally get what happened after the letter was published because it wasn’t unusual for someone else to then write in to make a reply. The problem is that it doesn’t really help if you don’t know what they’re talking about in the first place, as is often the case when he starts talking about global politics in the 1950s and 1960s.

Still, I mean this book is billed as Greene’s letters to the press and it’s exactly that, I just didn’t enjoy reading them as much as I thought I would. I’ve been a Graham Greene fan for years now and I’ve read a whole bunch of his books, so I ought to have loved this. Not the case, though. I think it would have been better if it had included footnotes or some other short introductions and information to expand upon what was there in the actual letters.

All in all, you’re not going to enjoy this unless you’re a serious Graham Greene fan, and even then it’s not that great. It might come in useful if you’re looking for citations for an essay or something like that but otherwise, it’s only so so. Read it at your peril and in chunks.

 

Graham Greene

Graham Greene

 

Click here to buy Yours Etc.

 


Michael Pickering – The Compass Dances | Review

Title: The Compass Dances

Author: Michael Pickering

Type: Poetry

Page Count/Review Word Count: 338

Rating: 7/10

 

Michael Pickering - The Compass Dances

Michael Pickering – The Compass Dances

 

Disclaimer: While I aim to be unbiased, I received a copy of this for free to review.

This book is an interesting one because it spans an entire lifetime – what we have here is Michael Pickering’s selected poetry, spanning from 1955 to 2015. The author himself certainly has a strong set of credentials – he’s a graduate of University College in Oxford, as well as several other universities, and he even taught English and applied linguistics in Finland for 27 years.

Now, this isn’t necessarily the type of poetry that I’d typically go for, but it was still an interesting enough read. One thing that I would say is that it’s the sort of poetry that tries to flaunt the author’s education, something which is mirrored later on in the book with the inclusion of a number of self-reflective essays that the author wrote about his work. He also uses far too many footnotes, at least in my opinion – it hampers the reader’s ability to draw their own conclusions, which is what good poetry is all about.

Still, as you’d expect from someone who spent a lifetime writing poetry, there’s also a lot here to interest and to tantalise the reader, especially if we’re talking about a reader who loves words. Whilst it wasn’t necessarily my cup of tea, I did have to admire the skill with which the author works words to his advantage. True, it often felt like you were reading the intellectual equivalent of dad jokes, with plenty of half-developed puns, but there were also moments of clarity where the author was able – with just a few, short words – to communicate a sense or a feeling.

Overall, I wouldn’t recommend this unless you’re a serious fan of poetry – it can be pretty heavy, especially to someone who only reads prose, but it can also be rewarding if you stick with it. I’ll leave it up to your judgement.

 

Michael Pickering

Michael Pickering

 

Click here to buy The Compass Dances.