Wednesday, March 19, 2008

A New Primary Color

One of the challenges of talking about books is expressing a deeply personal connection in a way that will convince a total stranger that the book is worth his or her time. It's the challenge every reviewer faces and it becomes more daunting when trying to explain a book that has a unique importance in your life. Given that, this article from Slate blew me away. What's so exciting about the article, and what made me special order the book immediately after reading the article, is that the work clearly inspired the writer to stretch the limits of his prose to do justice to a work of profound importance in his life. After describing the effect this work had on writers like Gabriel Garcia Marques, he says of Pedro Paramo, "it was like happening on a new primary color, entirely unlike any I'd seen before." Not just a new experience, or something unique and quirky, but a book that became a basic unit from which all his subsequent reading experiences would be composed.

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