Friday, July 9, 2010

Early Review Angst

What was I thinking when I put a bid on Little Big World by Jeffrey Hammond?  I think I was misled by the genre tag which read "memoir".  You know I am nuts about a good memoir.  I also have a weird interest in reading about people who collect things and this one was about collecting toys.  Boom.  This slim little book (116 pages) arrived in the mail, and has been torturing me for weeks.  I couldn't read anything else until this one was done.  The problem was the book was just was not that interesting.  I have never not finished an ER book.  It is my duty to read and review all the books I get for free, but I just could not get excited about this man's collection of toys.

It wasn't really a memoir either, it was more a rumination on collecting particular types of toys from e-bay that the author used to play with in the 1950's.  To some, I am sure it was infinitely interesting, but to me it was simply 116 pages of heady prose about what a miniature Dale Evans figurine means to the wider world.

The second chapter went into the history of the man who made these toys:  Louis Marx who made his fortune on toys in the great depression.  This was more interesting that the rest of the pages which dealt primarily with lining up plastic figurines on his desk and contemplating what play means to 50's kids.  It reminded me of the sad toys of the Toy Story movie franchise that are getting packed away when Andy goes off to college.  Only Toy Story is way more enjoyable.

Also, this quirky tidbit: Louis Marx had a daughter named Barbara Marx Hubbard who rejected her father's cult of capitalism and became a new age speaker/guru.  Interestingly enough, I have seen one of her films.  I never knew she was heir to a toy empire!

Anyway, the moral of this story is to think really hard before bidding on a book.  This blasted 116 pager kept me way down for far too long. I finally finished the review this morning and I feel free.

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