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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Vowels and more vowels - and with character!
This is a quirky book - a good present for anyone with an interest in Language, because each chapter concentrates on using one vowel only. It's quite some achievement to find words which hang together, all containing only the letter A, for example. It's also extraordinary how each vowel gives its own flavour and character to a word, some being geared up for action and...
Published on 29 Jan 2009 by Jaywalker

versus
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting idea
Love the idea of this - hard going to actually read it, but certainly fascinating.
Published on 9 Feb 2009 by A. Rowlands


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Vowels and more vowels - and with character!, 29 Jan 2009
By 
Jaywalker (Hampshire, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Eunoia (Hardcover)
This is a quirky book - a good present for anyone with an interest in Language, because each chapter concentrates on using one vowel only. It's quite some achievement to find words which hang together, all containing only the letter A, for example. It's also extraordinary how each vowel gives its own flavour and character to a word, some being geared up for action and others for more lyrical prose. It's also a very pleasingly presented book, something that book lovers would enjoy receiving. (A must for teachers wanting to show something interesting to A Level Language and Literature students!)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Amazing Experiment in Language, 11 Sep 2009
By 
Sir Furboy (Aberystwyth, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Eunoia (Paperback)
Eunoia is an amazing book - it is, to my mind, a book of poems in that the beauty of language is the focus more than the story.

The first five chapters are each dedicated to a vowel (in alphabetical order), and each chapter only contains words containing that voewl and no other. What is more, the author has constrained the stories in other ways and used the majority of all words that he could use in the writing.

After these five chapters there are other random experiments in language, such as the poem written only with the letters in the word "vowels".

I am very glad I read this book. It was an amazing feat of language that took the author 7 years to write (and the only surprise was that he could complete it at all). On the downside it is not an easy read! The constraints of the book make the language hard going. There were words there I had to look up (and I generally don't have that problem).

The mixture of words that in other works would be clearly pretentious with occasional gutter language also felt odd. Particularly in the "u" chapter, I was both impressed and dissapointed that the writer could describe sexual intercourse using just words with the "u" vowel - but imaginations will not run far as to which words he used. That rather sullied the beauty of the book in my opinion.

Hard going it might be, but this was not a long book and it was very much worth the read. Anyone who loves language cannot help but be impressed by what is achieved here.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful thinking, fantastic engineering!, 30 Mar 2003
By 
This review is from: Eunoia (Paperback)
Christian Bok is certainly a genius. There is simply no doubting his incredible patience and skill in putting together a technically, structurally sound piece of poetic prose.
But good grief! Was this ever a difficult book to read! Initially anyway. And then you get used to the sheer brilliance of the man and you feel compelled to read it all the way through because perversely (or maybe that's just me) you want to see for yourself that he really has done it. He really has created a poetic piece of art.
Yes there is a story and yes there are mirthful moments but really, at the end of it, you are really just shell-shocked with the literature.
Each chapter is a dedication (for want of a better word) to a specific vowel (in alphabetical order of course) and within that chapter, every single word used has the vowel in it. Yes. Every Single Word. There are slightly more random thoughts towards the end but only after all the vowels have been done.
It took Mr. Bok seven years to complete it. I am surprised it only took him seven years...
However, I feel that emotion was sacrificed for the sake of technical structure and whilst I enjoyed reading it - for the art and engineering of the language - it probably isn't going to be one of those "must read again" books.
I would definitely recommend a first read - or at least a look - at this technical marvel. But please do not expect to find anything close to metaphysical emotion or mythical metaphor.
It does not touch your soul but it certainly makes you smile!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing feat - but it needs a content warning, 1 Feb 2009
By 
David P (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Eunoia (Hardcover)
I bought this book for my elderly Mum after hearing about it on the morning radio. She is fascinated with language and when she isn't reading a book she is always doing crosswords and word puzzles. This book is an incredible achievement and I was amazed at how readable it really is. She too loved it, and read it cover to cover in no time at all.

BUT - BE WARNED - there is, particularly in the "U" chapter, some pretty blunt sexually explicit language. Yes, *that* word is in there. And *that* one...

I was a bit shocked as there is no hint of this either on the cover or in any of the reviews I saw before buying, and if I had known I might have thought twice about giving this to my Mum as a present!

Still gets 5 stars though.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Impressive, 13 Sep 2009
By 
This review is from: Eunoia (Paperback)
An impressive book that took years for Bok to complete, Eunoia uses only 1 vowel in each of the 5 chapters. I mainly read this by dipping in sporadically, as I found it difficult to read for long periods of time, but anyone, even those with no interest in poetry can appreciate the feat that he has pulled off here.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Manna, 10 April 2012
This review is from: Eunoia (Hardcover)
It's been done before (just google lipogram) but it's always worth rediscovering, and even within his self-imposed restriction Bok mines treasure on every page, viz from the 1st six

A pagan skald chants a dark saga

..staff plan a bacchanal - a gala ball that has what charm small galas lack

Hassan.. has, as a snack, canard à l'ananas sans safran

A lass as sad as a swan twangs a glass harp

A clasp snaps apart, and a scant shawl falls

Satan.. draws a fractal mandala - a charm that can trap what a Cathar savant calls an 'astral avatar'

We may have our favourites, but can even a Cathar savant doubt this is poetry?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fabulous gift to anyone with a flare for the unique!, 31 Mar 2012
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This review is from: Eunoia (Hardcover)
I bought this gift for my step dad, thinking it might be something, y'know he looked at said "oh thanks" and put it on his book shelf, maybe to get out once or twice! .. But he loved it! He found the entire concept of the style of writing amazing, and still talks about it! It's not to every ones taste, but it is one of the most wonderful uses of language!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth it., 7 Aug 2010
This review is from: Eunoia (Hardcover)
At first, I found this book really hard to get into, purely due to the structure making it harder to read and absorb overall, meaning that I had to go back over early paragraphs a few times for it to sink in. However on the whole, I found it an enjoyable and interesting read and a definite recommendation for others if they are after something different.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 10 May 2014
By 
Mr. J. R. Dawkins (Dunmow, England, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Eunoia (Kindle Edition)
Clever. Witty. Brilliant. This book is unlike any other you will read. A retelling , for instance, of Helen of Troy using only the vowel 'e' in any word. For those who love language and see beauty in words, this is for you
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4.0 out of 5 stars It must have taken a bit of doing, 30 Nov 2013
This review is from: Eunoia (Hardcover)
Wacky and zany
Extremely well expressed
Slightly silly in bits
Not good for morons
Rum'n'spunky stuff

It was hard enough just thinking up that cobblers! John Higson has a similar section in his novel, The Missing Fridge. The stuff he does is more comedic - the characters get to say things like, 'Resplendent kecks, Temple - nyet!'
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Eunoia
Eunoia by Christian Bok (Paperback - 17 Sep 2009)
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