Saturday, February 03, 2007

 

No Hands Clapping

I'm about half-way through Toby Young's book The Sound of No Hands Clapping. This is Young's follow-up to the book How to Lose Friends and Alienate People, which I have not yet read. The book is a fast read, which I like. It means he's quick about getting to the point and the language is understandable. Contrast this to Henry David Thoreau, whose work my husband is required to read for college. Thoreau is so stinkin' wordy and convoluted that my husband forgets the point Thoreau was trying to make by the time he gets to the end of a sentence. I've had the same trouble with Thoreau, so, snaps to Young for saying things clearly. The Sound of No Hands Clapping is filled with Young's self-defacating humor. The man has an unerring sense of the inappropriate in so many life situations, that I'm rather hoping he's exaggerating, but fear that he's not. He talks about the underbelly of both the publishing business and the Hollywood movie machine from the standpoint of one who's had experience with both. It's a good thing Young's got a sense of humor, because I'd be a bawling, snivelling, hair-pulling wreck after going through some of what he's experienced.

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