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Pickle Me This

April 25, 2007

Righting wrongs

Like it or not, books aren’t meant in general. Most people are predisposed to disliking some kind of book, which is to say nothing about the people or the books except that the world is large and people are varied. Happily you can always find something else to read. And so then I wonder why so many people don’t. Why do people persist in reading books they are predisposed to disliking? Further, why do people persist in reviewing books they are predisposed to disliking? This is not to say that genre is resolute, that horizons shant be broadened, but I just think that I would be the person least inclined to judge a fantasy novel, for example, or a computer science textbook to take it further. Similarly the writer of this review, who professes to being driven mad by columnists such as Heather Mallick, probably wasn’t the best choice to review Mallick’s new book Cake or Death. Heather Mallick is an altogether devisive character, and so wouldn’t it have been fair to assign her book to a writer who, I don’t know, doesn’t detest her?

(Though of course the G&M does have its axe to grind. How petty.)

I, however, am perfectly qualified to review Heather Mallick’s new book. I adore Heather Mallick, but yet I was objective enough to admit that her previous book had problems. But her new book is absolutely brilliant. I’m about 2/3 through and I just reread the Globe review and the unfairness of it made me so angry I had to stop (see? it’s easy). And so get ready for some great excerpts, and a review tonight or tomorrow. And then we can consider a blatant wrong just a little bit righted.

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