Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Bermuda Shorts by James J Patterson

When Bermuda Shorts arrived in my box from the ER program, I had to study it a minute.  I thought this was a new book by the famous author who is known for thrillers and detective novels. The one who has all those books on the best seller list.  Why does he need an early review? I wondered.

I realized after glancing at the back that this was a different James and a different kind of book: a collection of thoughtful, humorous, bittersweet essays about love, growing up, sports, politics and telephones.  There was also a short story thrown in at the end as a kind of bonus.

The personal essay is not an easy form to master, but it is also the most compelling reading, and I found myself thinking of people who would like to read certain essays.  My father-in-law would love his essay on the Washington Redskins (in fact there was a whole series of sports essays that for some would be quite compelling.)  The ministers at my church would have loved an essay titled God, Gordo and Gandhi.  Anyone who has been in love would like The Conjecture Chamber.  There is something here for everyone.  

I hope more than a few people notice this small book.  I enjoyed every essay and found them all to be clear and intelligent and worthwhile.  He manages to tell stories and be thoughtful.  He draws almost always from his rich and interesting life as a sports fan and a musician and son.  James J Patterson is a good writer and you will spend an enjoyable afternoon with this collection.

If you saw my last post you know I also love the publishing house that put out this collection.  I am more than willing to lend this to anyone local, but would also like to encourage you to buy it or to request it from your local library.  Support small presses!

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