When Dwight Garner of the New York Times does not like your book, it's pretty clear. His review of Gringo: A Coming of Age In Latin America, by Chesa Boudin, reminds me of sitting through Kevin Costner's "Water World" and "Wyatt Earp":
Mr. Boudin’s Up With People prose sounds more than anything like a college admissions essay; it perfects that form’s ingratiating, smug but searching tone...
This kind of guff ... belongs in a yoga magazine, not between hard covers.
Please make it stop.
[Boudin's]... future should not include committing sentences to paper with the intention of distributing them widely.
Stuart Ferguson's Wall Street Journal review of A Man Apart: The Journal of Nicholas Cresswell, 1774-1781, serves tantalizing tidbits like hors d'oeuvres to truly increase the appetite. I would like to listen to it on cd while driving, although my trips don't count as picaresque. Reading would probably be more fun "with the improvisational spelling and punctuation of the time."
Both these books combine the personal with the political in describing a journey. Maybe one is better than it's review, and one less interesting. I'm going to look for both as instructive for blogging.
© 2009 Nancy L. Ruder