Over recent months I have grown increasingly disillousioned with writing book reviews. For all that I enjoy revisiting and talking about books, being a critic feels disingenuous with loving books. I find I focus more on paraphrasing other peoples intelligent comments than sharing my visceral, emotional and intellectual reactions to the books I am reviewing. This cannot continue.
A couple of weeks ago I decided to trial a new approach to writing about books. I wanted to experiment with the form and purpose of book reviewing by writing responses in the form of short stories. The below are some attempts to do so. To capture the essence of a book, like Jean-Baptiste Grenouille with scents in Perfume; the experience of reading a book and how it interacts with one's life.
A poet, Nii Parkes, once wrote that
“Poetry works in tandem with its environment and that environment includes the reader. Just as the sensation of running is strongly linked to the world around the runner, so the experience of a poem is linked to the world around the reader. It is so important to remember that.”