Page navbar

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

How I Bugged My Brother, Read Two New Books and Learned New Words All While Enjoying the Zing of Great Critical Essay

It started with an interest in critical essay.  My older brother is an avid reader and has read several books of critical essays.  I solicited his recommendations for my first plunge into that genre and he shot back some wonderful books, including the two I have read so far:  A Reader's Manifesto by B. R. Myers and Hatchet Jobs by Dale Peck.
I posted a review of A Reader's Manifesto last month basically expounding my agreements with Mr. Myers assertions.  Just after that I picked up Hatchet Jobs and read it thirstily.  I however cannot review this book.  Here's why.
First, I have not read many of the author's that Mr. Peck so specifically crucifies and don't feel equipped to agree or disagree with him without having first done that.  He makes great arguments and uses excerpts to prove his points, but in this book he is not so much presenting an idea about fiction in general.  He is pointedly attacking certain authors and works.  I am uncomfortable making any decisions about his essays before reading at least some of his victims.
Second, Mr. Peck's language skills and vocabulary had me reeling, thus proving that I am not afraid of challenging language.  While I understood the book in whole, there were many words that I had never seen in my life and I loved that, but was too eager to finish the book to get out my dictionary.
Given those two crucial points, I am determined to first read some works he studies and second re-read his book with a dictionary at my side.  I can however say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.  His vitriolic debating style had great zing and made me laugh out loud repeatedly.

No comments: