This article started out as a review of The Dervish House, by Iam McDonald, but some reviews just aren’t worth writing.
When you connect with a work one of the hardest things to do can be putting your thoughts down on paper. The process of filtering and dissecting your opinion of the work in preparation for a review can demystify an amazing reading experience by providing objective reasons for subjective impressions. You become a machine subject to logical and observable inputs and outputs.
What was wonder and amazement at a turn of phrase or sequence of events quickly becomes admiration for the author’s planning or penmanship. In essence, the review machine inexorably grinds down generalities and impressions into specific observations and causal links. The personal connection one might feel with a work is edited and categorized for presentation to the world, in essence killing all that is personal and private about it.
The transition from the personal sphere to the public sphere is at the heart of the reviewing process, and it can be deadly. It will kill that ever so rare and delicious haze of contented amazement readers have after finishing a truly good book. And, friends and readers, I want to keep my haze. So, just for today, leave me in my cave of cloudy emotion and broken causal chains, because The Dervish House has been my best read of 2010, and I want it to stay that way.