<body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\x3d12969692\x26blogName\x3dLearning+Strategies\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dBLUE\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3dhttp://larrydavidson.blogspot.com/search\x26blogLocale\x3den_US\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3dhttp://larrydavidson.blogspot.com/\x26vt\x3d53093167121198245', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>

Saturday, February 02, 2008

The Beautiful Miscellaneous

I have to confess that I have mixed feelings about The Beautiful Miscellaneous, a novel by Dominic Smith. I was initially attracted by the premise of the book: a physicist’s son who does not live up to his father’s hopes and dreams but his his own particular gifts. As usual, I waited to read the reviews on Amazon until after I had read the book (or listened to it, in this case). And I agree with the specifics if one considers there to be a consensus among the reviewers. But I cannot agree with the overall assessment, which reflects a greater degree of enthusiasm than I felt.

Yes, it’s an interesting and well-written novel about fathers and sons, about coming of age, and about giftedness or the lack thereof. So what left me unsatisfied? Maybe I was irritated by the intrusion of so-called psychics into the world of physics and mathematics. Maybe I was bothered by the intrusiveness of synesthesia and photographic memory into what was otherwise a straight novel. While I was definitely affected by my reading of A.R. Luria’s The Mind of a Mnemonist as an undergraduate, it doesn’t make the most convincing fit in a fictional context. Or maybe I’m just being unfair and wanted the book to be something it wasn’t. In any case, I certainly don’t feel that listening to The Beautiful Miscellaneous was a waste of time, so give it a read — or a listen.

Labels:


ARCHIVES

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours? Made with Macintosh