I was browsing the local library shelf on-line (which is far more extensive than the closest little branch–which is not saying much–which is a story for another time). I searched “Gabriel Garcia Marquez” knowing I should read more of his work. Here is a title for you: The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor: Who Drifted on a Life Raft for Ten Days without Food or Water, Was Proclaimed a National Hero, Kissed by Beauty Queens, Made Rich through Publicity, and Then Spurned by the Government and Forgotten for All Time. Perfect.
I recall Ana Castillo, her So Far From God, and the telenovela, and sigh a chocolate-cake-memory-sigh.
I rarely, if ever, include a synopsis of the book I am writing about. The exceptions involve: a disagreement with the blurb on the jacket or sleeve, or if I am reading it differently than the summarizations of others might suggest. So, I figure a link will do. Does it do?
I read a fair amount of reviews (many times after I have read the book) and they rarely tell me anything other than the summary of the book. It was good, bad, and/or ugly and this is what the book is about. I suppose the content is the number one concern of many for either peaking or killing reading interest. I am not looking for an extended so many word/page critical analysis, at least I didn’t think so. I suppose the idea is to trust the reader whose is writing, and find, after a number of books, that you both have similar tastes (or the reverse, you read and enjoy everything they despise). Time is precious and it is nice to have someone sift the shelves for you.
What, then, do we want to know about a book, before we read it? I know there are papers and volumes and books on this subject. Aesthetics, a topic that fascinates, and I’m still in the kiddie-pool regarding its exploration. As we tend to work from our own set of (possibly unsanctioned) criteria, I begin there–with my own.
I will gladly attempt an summary of story, of plot (if present), etc, of a something I am writing about, if asked. I might even try to make it sound more exciting than it might otherwise be (on an occasion of rare optimism). I should most likely make use of the colon and search for the eloquence of a short-story writer; and attempt the precision for which the writing professor begs (and I rarely deliver: as I was not born of Chekov completely).