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Reading About Reading: Nick Hornby’s “The Polysyllabic Spree”

August 11, 2010

I’ve only just started “The Polysyllabic Spree” by Nick Hornby, which is a collection of some of his essays from the Believer magazine.  But seriously, how could I not be excited to read a book whose flap sports the following quote:

“Books are, let’s face it, better than everythign else.  If we played cultural Fantasy Boxing League, and made books go fifteen rounds in the ring against the best that any other art form had to offer, then books would win pretty much every time.  Go on, try it.  The Magic Flute v. Middlemarch?  Middlemarch in six.  The Last Supper v. Crime and Punishment? Fyodor on points.  See?  I mean, I don’t know how scientific this is, but it feels like the novels are walking it.  You might get the occasional exception….And every now and then you’d get a shock, because that happens in sport, so Back to the Future III might land a lucky punch on Rabbit, Run; but I’m still backing literature twenty-nine times out of thirty.”

And from that, I’ve chosen “The Polysyllabic Spree” to be the first of my trip reading!

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3 Comments
  1. Joan permalink
    August 12, 2010 6:00 pm

    Another book to add to the list! Happy reading!

  2. Hezzel permalink
    August 17, 2010 5:26 am

    I’m enjoying it too! Fabulous! Don’t forget to read the chapter on The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night, where he debunks this theory saying no good book ever made him jump four feet in the air like the Arsenal soccer player did that month!

    • Erin permalink*
      August 17, 2010 10:51 am

      I just finished the book! I was a little sad when he said that bit about the Arsenal soccer player. I still love the above quote though…even if there is the occasional fluke!

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