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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking
Really thought-provoking. Wide-ranging, eclectic, fascinating, expressed in a unique style. I recommend it as well as Jay's more recent book "Wild".
Published on 23 May 2009 by Alison

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31 of 41 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Time of your Life
Pip Pip is a miscellany of information that, despite inaccuracies (Marshall Sahlins is an anthropologist, not a biologist) and exaggerations, still makes some good points about the nature of time and how it claws us into its devouring clutch. Childhood, Jay Griffiths reminds us, seems so long because a child's metabolism is so much faster than that of an adult, so that a...
Published on 12 Mar 2007 by Margaret Taylor


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking, 23 May 2009
This review is from: Pip Pip: A Sideways Look at Time (Paperback)
Really thought-provoking. Wide-ranging, eclectic, fascinating, expressed in a unique style. I recommend it as well as Jay's more recent book "Wild".
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, 8 Feb 2008
By 
Andy (Gloucestershire) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Pip Pip: A Sideways Look at Time (Paperback)
I kind of fell in love with Jay Griffiths as I read this. It made me feel like I want to use the rest of however much time I have left rather differently. Preferably with far less emphasis on clocks and watches. Dreamy, beautiful. Take no notice of the one star brigade. If they don't get it they are to be pitied.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant polemic against linear time has its weaknesses, 28 Feb 2012
By 
Mike L (Norwich, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Pip Pip: A Sideways Look at Time (Paperback)
This book is a polemic against linear time, which Jay Griffiths describes as the enclosure of time, a parallel act to the enclosure of land. For the author these are colonial acts, all part of the edifice of male western civilization and a Bad Thing. Griffiths appeals instead to a more cyclic, feminine time.

Jay Griffiths is a witty, passionate and intelligent writer. The book is always entertaining and many of the examples she brings from around the world are delightful. At the same time there is no real development of an argument through the book; Griffiths simply piles up example after example. The book is not an enquiry into the nature of time, and after a while I found it hard to read. Maybe I am expecting too much - its the nature of polemic simply to blast against the side of the argument that has got out of hand.

On the other hand, the idea that there are different kinds of time is not new in the West. In ancient Greece there were two words for time: chronos, for linear, clock time, and kairos, which does not mean cyclic time but rather timeless time. They correspond to the conditional (material) and the unconditional (non-material). I find this a very powerful framework for thinking about the nature of time. It is not a dimension that Griffiths visits at all and this was a weakness of the book for me, because without it we are stuck in a male-female good-bad polarity.

Our word paradise comes from a Persian root meaning a walled garden or park. I wonder what Jay Griffiths would say about that: the beginning of the rot?

In summary: fascinating, but frustratingly incomplete.
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31 of 41 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Time of your Life, 12 Mar 2007
By 
Margaret Taylor (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Pip Pip: A Sideways Look at Time (Paperback)
Pip Pip is a miscellany of information that, despite inaccuracies (Marshall Sahlins is an anthropologist, not a biologist) and exaggerations, still makes some good points about the nature of time and how it claws us into its devouring clutch. Childhood, Jay Griffiths reminds us, seems so long because a child's metabolism is so much faster than that of an adult, so that a day that vanishes swiftly for a pensioner stretches forever for a child. Women, she tells us, follow lunar cycles - the paramenstruum leaves women burning with creativity, witch-like with intuition and violent moods. Some of us, of course, just get cramps, take painkillers, and go to bed.

Women, children, nature - all follow a cyclical wild time, a play-time, which is opposed to the horrid masculine linearity of clock time. The author contrasts modern and pre-modern societies. Western societies are estranged from nature, have contempt for animals and fear death instead of welcoming it. She laments the days when death was a communal affair, with friends and relatives gathered round. She hates the measuring of childbirth, the changing definitions of what is and is not a slow labour, the timing and efficiency of hospital wards. We should all be in tune with nature, with the natural rhythm of the seasons - instead of destroying our world with pollution stemming from capitalist greed. Industrialised work-patterns are twinned with consumption. Time, everyone's most precious commodity, is measured so that it can be snatched away from us.

So far, so good, but Griffiths's polemic proceeds by constructing ideological Aunt Sallies that she can toss comments at, without any real evaluation of what is and was going on. Her references to Karl Marx ignore his aversion to the division of labour, as a cause of alienation, and disregard the dilettante Utopia described in The German Ideology (1846), in which men fish, hunt and write literary criticism without adopting any occupational rôle. Her bête noire is Christianity (both Catholic and Protestant). She has a particular dislike of the rule of Saint Benedict, with its task-oriented division of the various hours of the day. She also detests Christianity's rejection of reincarnation, and attempted control of the natural world.

These arguments disregard the fact that cycles may slowly change, run down or be broken; more importantly, they display romanticism and ignorance of what life may be like in pre-modern societies. Living in tune with Nature, in a place where Nature is to be feared as well as enjoyed, has a vitality that makes humans feel part of the natural world. Yet people in such societies often suffer terribly: starvation, hunger, death in childbirth, birth defects, and painful degenerative diseases. As for social relations, war, infanticide, cannibalism and the abandonment of the elderly, were near-normative in many places, as were boredom and frustration, with the recognition of wasted abilities. Life in undeveloped societies was and is qualitatively different, but not necessarily better, than a comfortable healthy life in the West.

Written in an amusing and sometimes breathless style, Pip Pip's descriptions of scent and flower clocks, of astronomical and other historical clocks, of different perceptions of time, are most enjoyable. But they offer no workable solutions to the real problems of the modern world.
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5.0 out of 5 stars It was the book that I wanted, it arrived ..., 31 Oct 2013
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Mr. N. C. Gravette (UK) - See all my reviews
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It was the book that I wanted, it arrived promptly and in the condition stated. Very interesting and quirky content.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book but spoilt by previous readers' comments, 7 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Pip Pip: A Sideways Look at Time (Paperback)
The book is fascinating but the copy I received had lots of writing over the text which makes it difficult to read without being influenced by previous readers; comments.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A new angle, 23 Jun 2013
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Ms. E. L. Calcutt (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Pip Pip: A Sideways Look at Time (Paperback)
Brilliant. A must read. She writes in such a poetic way, thoroughly creative and exploring all angles of time. I love her writing, I couldn't put it down.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Have you the time to vthink about time?, 14 April 2013
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John Wright (U.K.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Pip Pip: A Sideways Look at Time (Paperback)
This book was sort of interesting to a degre but a bit of a slog to read. I dont know why but I found it a bit hard to get really excited by it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful but Tough Going, 2 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Pip Pip: A Sideways Look at Time (Paperback)
Jay Griffiths work is contentious, beautiful, political, environmental, honest, and passionately felt! You can hear various interviews with her on Youtube if you want, but her literature is extremely well researched and argued. If you are anti feminist or just plain male chauvinist, this is not going to impress you. I found it both persuasive and challenging to preconceived ideas. Rich in history too.
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18 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet as a nut, 20 Nov 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Pip Pip: A Sideways Look at Time (Paperback)
This book is completely fascinating, about times and cultures. It is funny and robust. Amongst other things, it is a revelation about women's experiences of time. I have never read a book like this - ever. One reviewer commented that it does for time what Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance did for philosophy. Well, yes. That's close. It's beautiful. Sexist men may hate it, but I loved it.
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Pip Pip: A Sideways Look at Time
Pip Pip: A Sideways Look at Time by Jay Griffiths (Paperback - 7 Aug 2000)
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