Most helpful positive review
28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
I didn't know Dyer at all. Now I can't put him down.
on June 1, 2011
I don't normally write reviews on Amazon but for this book I simply had to. Dyer's essays are amazing! I'm only 50 or so pages into the book but I had to sit down and write this review right now. I know that my opinion will not change - it's a wonderful book! Being a Literature person in college and grad school, I've heard of a lot of the folks Geoff is writing about in the "Verbals" section, but as for the other sections, I'm mostly clueless. Sure I've heard of Avedon and Metinides and Rodin and Def Leppard. But do I know anything about them, really? Other than that they were photographers or sculptors or musicians? No! But that's the really great thing about this book: you don't need to know a thing about any of these people, or their work, to appreciate what Dyer is saying about them. It's all fairly philosophical and subjective and meandering....and beautiful. He mixes quick, torpedo-like statements of opinion with drifting and rambling thoughts. It feels like Dyer wrote the book with the intention of readers strolling through it slowly, as if they're walking along a winding path through a dense forest. The torpedoes are meant to shake you awake, but then, really, he just lets you keep meandering at your own pace, leisurely, pleasurably. I couldn't help but write all over the pages. Some parts go faster than others, some parts are more detailed, and some parts are more interesting. But as a whole, the entire forest is really quite beautiful. So far, reading Dyer's essays has been both fascinating and illuminating. I've learned more about photography from reading the first five essays in this book than I ever have before in my life.