Wednesday, June 28, 2006


by Daniel Handler

This book was a pleasure to read. Handler (aka Lemony Snicket) is a virtuoso of the English language, and he has an imagination to match his verbal talent. The story includes distorted current events, magic realism, interwoven plot lines — but Tom Clancy fans beware: this is not a plot-driven novel!

It's a love story, really, and as such isn't about what so much as how. It's written conceptual art, and it wouldn't have worked if it were written by someone with less flair. The author describes love by example, usually by saying "this is like love" rather than "love is like..."; it reminded me of a lyric by Stephin Merritt: "Love is like a bottle of gin / but a bottle of gin is not like love."

There really isn't much else to say. It's fun, interesting, absorbing, and I laughed out loud at least five times. If you read for pleasure (as opposed to preoccupation), this book is for you.

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