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Letters Never Meant to be Read Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
As I was reading them I kept thinking that this book is a prose version of Postsecret.com. It's an effective idea I would like more of.
As a hobbyist graphic artist, I’ve struggled with my fair share of cover designs. This book’s is perfect. It catches the eye, clearly presents the necessary information, flows naturally, and despite all of that, manages to be beautiful as well. You’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but this one had me pulling for it from the get go.
Simply put, Marc is on to something here. Letters Never Meant to be Read (here after referred to as “Letters”) is the first of its kind – at least that I’ve ever heard of – but I certainly hope it isn’t the last. Combining several unique yet artful authors, this collection is a journey straight to the heart of the human condition. There’s just something special about writing a letter you don’t intend to be read (or, at least be read by who it’s addressed to). I’ve read many an anthology, but this is something different entirely. Something new. It’s personal, it’s moving, it’s thought provoking, it’s sarcastic (at times) and it’s heartfelt. I wouldn’t have pegged that as a combination to entice me, but boy did it ever.
I think the most remarkable aspect of this work is the fact that it isn’t written by any one particular individual. Normally I prefer a consistent voice throughout a work. It allows me to get to know that voice, to become comfortable with it. When a writer’s voice isn’t consistent, it can be jarring such that I struggle to enjoy the story. But that isn’t what happened with Letters. Instead, I grew to know, and appreciate, each of the voices in this book. It was akin to switching between beloved point of view characters in a novel. Returning to each was a welcomed experience (almost as if greeting an old friend). By the end of the book I could recognize the individual authors by the opening lines of their letters. I feel that I grew to know these people, without ever actually knowing them. That’s a powerful thing.
When it comes down to it, this book is about the letters within it. It’s in the title, after all. And let me say, the letters did not disappoint. They were varied, spanning a plethora of different subjects, and yet, I found almost all of them drew me in. It’s not every day you get a glimpse into another’s life. Letters provided not only a glimpse into the authors’ lives, but also their thoughts, their dreams, their regrets, and everything in between. Whether you’re a fan of sarcasm, or wit, or bittersweet love stories, there’s a letter in here for you. In fact, I’d wager there’s more than one.
Letters Never Meant to be Read was a cerebral work of art that pierced the walls we surround ourselves with to reveal the humanity we all share. I’m not much of one for reading non-fiction, and so I did find this book a tad slow at times. Nonetheless, any slowing in pace was more than made up for by the letters themselves. If they lagged, it was to lull you and make the shock all the greater when they slapped you awake. Put simply, this book is beautiful. It’s serene. It’s sad. It’s happy. It’s soulful. It’s many things, and that only seems to make sense seeing as it’s born of the collected efforts of so many different authors. In the end, though, it all blooms together in one beautiful experience. You should be reading this book.
I received an ARC via Rosie Amber's Review Team, of which I am a member
Isn't the cover gorgeous? This is a collection (by a group of writers) of those letters you'd love to write, to get off your chest what you really want to say to people like the friend you've fallen out with, your ex-husband, ex-employer, the descendent you'll never meet, etc. A clever and unusual idea, I thought.
As is always in compilations, the quality of these little pieces vary, though they are all well presented. Generally, I liked the contributions by Meghan best; they were more acerbic, witty ~ and more concise, which I think works better for this. Others reminded me more of blog posts, or essays, with far more background and explanation than might be found in a real letter to someone. My absolute favourite, though, was 'Dear Mother Prostitute' by Marc, which was excellent. I could tell which ones Brandon had written from the title and first line; I guessed each one, after reading his first two, and was never wrong. They seemed brooding, introspective; the styles of the writers was much in evidence. Interestingly, the last letter is from older Marc to his younger self; I liked that, and it made me want to write my own.
I don't know if they were written as catharsis for the writers, but I would guess so. I am sure they worked very well for this (I bet most of us have written that email or letter in such a vein, that we've never sent!). As such, they were perhaps less entertaining than they might have been, had they been written more with the reader in mind, and now and again I felt a bit of professional editing might have served the book well, but the honesty and emotion certainly shone through in each one. A thought-provoking exercise, and there's a good bit at the back showing a photo and a small bio of each writer, which meant so much more after having looked inside their minds. For the record, only Marc looked anything like I imagined him.
Incidentally, Marc also invites contributions....
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