Bookends: Collected Intros and Outros

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The introduction to a novel, to a collection of essays or short fiction or poems, or to a work of nonfiction is the kind of writing that is easily skipped. Often written by someone other than the writer of the full work, it isn’t integral to understanding or experiencing the book you bought or borrowed or checked out from your local library, so why bother reading it?

For Michael Chabon, the act of reading a foreword is “crucial, transitive, and at times parasitical.” These works can dig, earworm-like, into your consciousness until they become just as important as the larger work. In Bookends: Collected Intros and Outros Chabon offers up the forewords and prefaces and afterwards he has penned for a variety of texts over the years. Those familiar with his writing style will be rewarded handsomely for making their way through this descriptive and eclectic collection, but it lacks some unity. It’s difficult to imagine there is a singular audience for this text as his pieces cover works by familiar names like Mark Ronson and Ray Bradbury, however, the bulk of these pieces are about writers most readers do not know.

Perhaps that is a reason to give Bookends a shot, especially if you’re a Chabon fan. To learn more about what makes him tick, there’s hardly a better primer on his influences than this collection.

Reviewed By:

Author Michael Chabon
Star Count /5
Format Trade
Page Count 192 pages
Publisher Harper Perennial
Publish Date 2019-Jan-22
ISBN 9780062851291 Buy this Book
Issue March 2019
Category Reference


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