This page will be where I publish my latest book reviews which can also be found on Librarything.
You or Someone Like You by Chandler Burr
I don't feel equal to the task of reviewing this book. Some may view this remark as a conceit on the book's topic.
Without wishing to be too simplistic, the book is essentially about discrimination. Oh yes - and change.
So, why don't I feel equal to the task? Because when one takes a point of view, one must be prepared to justify it. I think this book is great. The bees knees and the ants pants. But I don't feel I have the qualifications/knowledge/authority to say, this is a great book. I feel like one of those klutzes that hears great music and says "That was fantastic!" - but can't articulate why.
I confess I am quite intimidated by the central character. Now she would be qualified to review this book! I loathed her to begin with. To be really simplistic, she seemed like a pretentious snob. Oh but how carefully, Mr Burr pulls us in to her world, her point of view. She changes, in our mind, from being some crackpot who talks to her husband in literary allusions into a woman going through an annus horribulus.
But I am being too simplistic again. Everytime I attempt to describe this book it morphs and changes into something else...thus becoming what it is describing. First I think it's a book about racism. Then about parenting. Then about loving. Then about writing or language.
I'm a bit of a luddite when it comes to matters of philosophy but I think Burr is attempting to wrestle with the essentially Western way of viewing the world - possibly inherited from Greek philosophers and I am happy for others to leap in here and give guidance....the notion that we tend to see things in terms of a dialectic - black/white, yes/no, us/them. For one thing to exist, the other must not type of thing.
Literature gives us the opportunity to see things from a different perspective - the outsider looking in. What is great literature? Heck I certainly haven't read enough of it. I was however heartened to see that Edward Lear and A.A. Milne made Burr's list. When it comes to matters of philosophy, I'm a firm believer in nonsense.
But enough about me....what do you think...of me? Is the fundamental question of this book. Ask it of yourself...