Every reviewer has the experience of getting through a book and for some reason or other never actually getting words down on paper.

    Time passes, the wonder or awfulness of the book fades, and one is left with nothing but a vague sense of guilt. A writer went to all that trouble, a publisher went to all that expense of printing and sending out a novel, a biography, a treatise, a history, an art book --- and we let them down.

    It often has nothing to do with our reading of the book. It has everything to do with the diurnal quality of a day (or night;) a hangover; a fight with a wife (or husband, or lover).

    It can be the fault of a morning with a belly-ache, a restlessness, a fret, or a sick computer. It can even be a siege of what the medievalists dubbed the agenbite of inwit. Some of these books that missed out were great, some were god-awful, some were not-so-bad, some didn't even bear the scrutiny of more than a page or two. But they might well have deserved mention.

    This month, we have bedeviled our staff to pull together a few brief comments on works that crossed their desks over the last year or so, works that were for no good reason consigned to the dust-bin.

    We nagged, and this is what we got.

--- Ed

--- Leopold Daronov

Send us e-mail


Go Home

Go to the most recent RALPH