30 Novels, day 25: The latest innovation in reading
Yesterday's post about Michael Ende's Momo reminded me that sometimes one needs to take a little time off. So today, instead of a review, I offer this brief excerpt from my book about books, The Logogryph:
For those readers with no time for relaxed, contemplative involvement in fiction, this novel offers a delightful alternative. The substance of its original nine-hundred page bulk has been judiciously plucked, abridged, pulverized, filtered, dried and reconstituted; then this concentrated version is repackaged in a contemporary and easily accessible form.
And yet, despite what you fear at first, this is still the finest quality literature, straightforwardly thematic, engaging, innovative, devoid of the extravagances of authorial self-indulgence, and savouring of a keen insight into the human condition. Poignant, riveting, and unobtrusive enough that it can be enjoyed while watching television, working at the computer, talking on the cell-phone in rush-hour traffic. And perhaps best of all, no unpleasant afterimages or ethical dilemmas linger past the reading to trouble the rest of your day.
This is, in short, the latest innovation in the technology of effortlessness: a novel that allows you to not read.