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4.2 out of 5 stars
5
The Book of Shadows
Format: Paperback|Change
Price:£9.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 10 September 2008
Poet, jazz guitarist and editor Don Paterson has produced a terrific book of aphorisms. Its a shame this literary form seems to be so neglected. An aphorism, by the way is a little original thought expressed memorably and succinctly. Don's musings are by turn touching, funny, crude and insightful. You'll find yourself nodding vigorous agreement at many of these fragments of truth, even though you hadn't thought about the matter in hand before.

Mind you, as Don says: "Anything that elicits an immediate nod of recognition has only confirmed a prejudice."

He is irreverent and the very opposite of pompous.

Here's another taste: "Almost everything in the room will survive you. To the room, you are already a ghost, a pathetic soft thing, coming and going."

"Anal sex has one serious advantage:there are few cinematic prededents that instruct either party how they should look."
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on 26 November 2005
I bought this book after hearing Don Paterson speak at a conference (on translation and creativity), where he was refreshingly irreverent as well as deeply insightful. This is a wonderful book to dip into. It is a collection of aphorisms and meditations - humourous, bitter, wise - ranging from a single sentence to a paragraph, and I think I like it so much because it is completely empty of cliche and second-hand wisdom. In many ways it is a very personal collection, with some fragments referring cryptically to people close to the writer, but even these invariably lead us to reflect on our own natures. Dark and light mix in this book to give an honest picture of the human.
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on 14 July 2006
I really enjoyed these quirky jottings from one of the finest poets writing in English today. Paterson is remarkably clear-sighted and not afraid of sentiment, but with a wicked and biting sense of humour that keeps it all the right side of sentimentality. Made me muse, laugh, sigh, nod and shake my head in equal measures. Lovely change of pace from his (equally delightful) poetry.
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on 23 June 2013
It was a decent read, but not really my kind of thing. I didn't connect very well with it, but it wasn't badly written, so I can see that others may enjoy it.
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on 20 October 2013
This wasn't the Book of Shadows I wanted and isn't really my cup of tea...my fault for not taking enough care when searching!
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