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Mixed for me
on January 8, 2018
I read Dyer before, and wanted to read more of him. I read the reviews of this book, and determined that *I* would be one of the ones who liked the book. He is a really good and clever writer, but after the first few essays, I lost interest. I thought, Here's a super-smart, privileged guy who gets to travel a lot, gets to get laid a lot, and gets to publish books about his own navel-gazing. Admittedly, the navel-gazing can be very shrewd, attentive, insightful, and funny (that's when the book was working for me), but after awhile, the material and the insights became very samey; and I just didn't care about the guy's "plight," if it can be called that, of being discontent and not being able to accomplish the writing he would like to. I basically skimmed the second half of the book.
What I *did* like, and notated in the book, are some passages that really shine. One rhetorical trademark of his is to write an experience, a moment, in a visual, kind of swirling and visceral way that is really quite beautiful - as in beautiful and effective writing. Also, he has a knack for writing about looking at himself looking at himself looking at himself in a kind of "Allegory of the Cave" mind-***k, which is also very well-done. So that's where the 3 starts comes in. I'm glad for those bits, but I would not have missed them had I chosen *not* to read this.