Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Commentary on my Book


This was from one of the reviewers who went over some of the book for me:

"I can only say that I read your work with no real expectation of anything. I anticipated that we would share certain basic attitudes and a general affinity for the wilderness, but beyond that we come from such different backgrounds and follow such different paths that your book could have been anything.

In truth, I wondered how many descriptions of reef fish I could take before I lost interest.

My response is purely to what I encountered.
And I am accustomed to reading all manner of material, from convoluted scientific theses to political rhetoric, and high blown visionary ramblings. That much of it is written by people I am very fond of, matters little.

You have a rare talent. It is, I suspect, an artist's eye applied to writing: the acuteness of detail; the consciousness of context and proportion. Each word is a brush stroke consciously applied. Most people use words like confetti; sprinkle enough of them in a general area and something like the impression intended is created. I do so myself frequently, when I'm being careless. Neither the impression being conveyed or the meaning of the words is understood clearly.
I seldom meet people who understand them with precision and are not bores.


Your clarity of intent is stunning, and beautiful.

As a wordsmith, I recognise and acknowledge rare mastery.

As a traveller who has picked up and cast aside the best of world literature in a thousand hostelries on half a dozen continents and countless islands, I recognise a book I would share with people I considered friends. That's all it is.

And 3 chapters into a subject I am not especially interested in, I am waiting with a low, gnawing hunger for more.


That alone tells me I have found something special.
I have been lured to the doorstep of a Tolkein-esque world and primed, ready to meet an array of inhabitants I have barely imagined yet know I will come to love.

Any compliment in that is duly deserved."

1 comment:

  1. Whilst I can't authentically recommend a book I have not yet read, I can tell you this....

    In 2002 I was given the wonderful privelege of seeing Ila's drawings of the shark community she observed. The attention and skill with which the subtle differences in markings between indivdiuals was recorded was phenomenal. She knew her community, and the character of the individuals from which it was composed.

    I had spent years working with sharks and those who study and watch them - and the talent of eye, mind and hand Ila exhibited far surpassed anyone else. You wanna know about a community of sharks? Ila knows best, and not just that, she can express it. Buy the book.

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