12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Valuable central point, but thin and confusing,
This review is from: The Silence of Animals: On Progress and Other Modern Myths (Hardcover)
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John Gray's Straw Dogs was an enormously valuable book - presenting a compelling but too-rarely-heard argument against our faith in human progress.
The Silence of Animals is the follow-up. The central thesis remains compelling - that our deeply rooted belief in progress may simply be a fiction that we use to give our lives meaning.
But The Silence of Animals doesn't seem to move thinking on from Straw Dogs. Instead, Gray uses a whole range of quotes from other authors, poets etc. to make essentially a similar point. Except that I regularly found it hard to understand what point Gray is trying to make in The Silence of Animals - it feels rambling and confused.
It's also really stretching the boundaries of what can be called a book. It's just about 200 pages, but the font is unusually large and the pages of text unusually small. It looks and feels as though the author wanted to put out another book without really having enough material to do so.
My personal conclusion? Read and treasure Straw Dogs for a fresh and valuable perspective on progress. Leave The Silence of Animals well alone.
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Initial post: 2 Apr 2014 11:56:03 BDT
Thank you for your review. I have read both books and share your arguments and conclusion.
In regards to "it feels rambling and confused": It certainly does. Reading "The Silence of Animals" I got the impression that "The Silence of Animal" consists of bits and bites that the editor crossed out while editing "Straw Dogs". This book, in my eyes, consists of the leftovers of "Straw Dogs", those distracting, pointless overlengthes an experienced editor is obliged to cross out.
Posted on 3 Apr 2014 18:09:44 BDT
Joy Manne says:
Yes, rambling and confused and a fraud of a book
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