5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
too much of her, not enough of that,
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: To The River: A Journey Beneath the Surface (Paperback)
Ms Laing, bibliography and thesaurus at the ready, has intrepidly explored ... her own mind (as Horace would have said she would). The river is, to tell the truth, not an exciting watercourse but it - and the settlements which benefited from it - are probably more interesting than Ms Laing's self-indulgent autobiographical excursions. Too much of her, then, and probably too much of the Woolfs who could have been kept in reserve until their own little bit of the river comes along.
Worse, the stuff on Kenneth Grahame (who had no discernible connection with the Ouse) is excessively ponderous for this sort of book.
It is rather typical of Ms Laing that she should quote Auden on limestone in a clay/sandstone area...
The stuff I just can't warm to has squeezed out even the briefest of accounts of the importance of the river to the villages and town by it. Without being excessively academic (and Ms Laing, bless her cotton socks, never is) she could have told us more. The account of the Battle of Lewes is, in this respect, a tour de force.
I am sorry but I do not share other readers' liking of Ms Laing's botanical and ornithological effusions. Some of the plants are briefly described but many are just names in lists. As for the birds, she does mention quite a few but then in her Acknowledgements she thanks someone for helping her to identify them...so did she not identify them when she saw them?
I enjoyed much of this book notwithstanding these ungallant criticisms!
Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 9 Aug 2013 10:22:43 BDT
Another wonderful review, Robbins - keep 'em coming!
‹ Previous 1 Next ›