Thursday, August 24, 2006

I don't like people summing up books for me. Tempt me with a title, a scene, a quotation, yes, but not with the whole story. Fellow enthusiasts, jacket blurbs, teachers and histories of literature destroy much of our reading pleasure by ratting on the plot. And as one grows older, memory, too, can spoil much of the pleasure of being ignorant of what will happen next. I can barely recall what it was like not to know that Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde were one and the same person, or that Crusoe would meet his man Friday.

--Alberto Manguel, A Reading Diary


  1. I knew I wasn't the only one who thought that way. Must read that.

    I agonize over the quotes I post on my quote blog. Is it giving too much away? Is it representative, or misleading? Etc.

  2. Yeah, sometimes it's harder than it looks, just throwing a quote up on a blog. And other times there's no mistaking the perfect passage. I love it when that happens.

  3. I wonder if Mr. Manguel knows my mother.
    She'll give every detail up to the very last chapter.
    I've never been able to get her to understand that I'd like to discover for myself the *entire* book, not just the last 25 pages.


  4. I have a cousin like that! She's even worse with movies.


"I don't believe in ghosts, but I see them all the time."

Sherman Alexie cancels book tour for memoir about his mother.