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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Review for Thinner Than Skin is pretty much incomprehensible, but nice anyway

For those of you interested in puzzles, check out this review from SHE magazine for Uzma's new book, Thinner Than Skin, which appears on the blog of someone named Afrah Jamal, who apparently wrote it for the magazine. It's generally, um, enthusiastic, I think, but not always entirely clear. For example, we are told (in boldface no less), that  "There are the inevitable political undertones to the saga tinted with unnecessary explicit annotations and where its brazen denouements darken the reflections, the spirited portrayals alter these ordinary dimensions." I have no fucking clue what this means.

The general tone of positivity is apparent through the use of various adjectives used to describe the book and the writing -- things like "brilliant," "luminous" and "beautiful" are nice to see, and always much appreciated when reading reviews. But these cheerful positives tend to get drowned in statements like "the US based protagonist is on hand to document the macabre moments and raw emotions with a forensic interest leading readers deep inside the enigmatic heart of the vale."

Compounding the confusion is the author's deep and abiding love of bodface and italics, which are frequently used to convey, I guess, either profundity or enthusiasm. But, y'know, it all just ends up being kind of distracting to the eyeballs and confusing to the brain, especially as extended quotes from the book are presented in italics as well.

Nonetheless: it's a positive review, and therefore much appreciated. So who's complaining? Certainly not me.

1 comment:

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