Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Alphabet Juice by Roy Blount, Jr.
44. Alphabet Juice
by Roy Blount, Jr.
abridged audio read by the author
I've got to read the fine print when I pick up an audio cd. I guess I just can't believe anyone would abridge a book. I thought the days of Reader's Digest Condensed Books were way in the past. But apparently not. This is what happened when I read Paula Deen's book, and now it has happened again with Roy Blount's Alphabet Juice. Though I wasn't so troubled with the former, I feel that Blount's book really shouldn't be abridged because of all the information it presents. To quote the Who, I 'won't get fooled again.'
At first I would say to Tom, oh, you've got to read this; you'll love it. Then one day I said, nah it's not that great. He couldn't figure out why the 360 change - addendum 180 - and neither could I. All I knew was that about two-thirds through the book, it felt like rushing toward the end. And then when I sat down to note it in my 2010 list of books read, there is was, the dreaded (to me) word, 'abridged.'
If you'd like to read a bit of the book before deciding if it is for you, the first chapter is here, and if you have a fast internet connection, and have some free time, there is a great video of him here.
Roy Blount, Jr. has such a gift for combining learning with humor. His joy in words is infectious. He's the teacher you always wanted. His passion for language is wonderful. The book's subtitle is: The Energies, Gists, and Spirits of Letters, Words, and Combinations Thereof; Their Roots, Bones, Innards, Piths, Pips, and Secret Parts, Tinctures, Tonics, and Essences; With Examples of Their Usage Foul and Savory, which makes it irresistible to those who love words and language. I highly recommend it (and will search out a print version for myself).