Monday, 5 January 2015

Book review - Both Sides Now, by Shawn and Dawn Inmon

This book is the companion volume to Feels Like The First Time, by the same author. I have to say it didn't really engage me; having recently read Feels Like The First Time, I felt as if I were reading almost identically the same story over again. The technique of telling the same story from several viewpoints is one that I like, but I think for this to work really well in fiction there has to be some kind of contrast or conflict between the two versions, so that the product of them is greater than its parts. Of course, with a work that is essentially autobiography, one doesn't really have this option, and I felt that the two books would work better published as a single volume.

That said, it is a lovely story, and, I think, would make a really great film. I could imagine such a film grossing hugely. One can only applaud the writer's, well, and his wife's too, searing honesty. Few people, I think, would have the courage to lay their lives bare to the public in this way.

The writing is even and just like that in the first book. Just as a matter of style, I think I'd have like to see Shawn and Dawn differentiated a little more in the writing, but with non-fiction one must, of course, stay true to the facts, and perhaps their personalities are so well matched that this wasn't possible.

As with Feels Like The First Time, I cringed every time 'lay' was used intransitively, but I feel that as counsel for the defence I might argue its appropriateness when writing in the first person of a dialect speaker, and so make allowances for the possibility that this was in fact what the author intended.

Both Sides Now, and its companion, Feels Like The First Time, are available from AMAZON.

No comments:

Post a Comment