Friday, October 30, 2009

Is a Book on Kindle still a book?

Well, I am a near Luddite, so I do have to wonder about these new fangled thingies. A couple times I nearly bought one and got as far as fingering them in a book store, but they were attached with those anti-theft devices and ther store was so tuned to another (louder) generation that I beat a hasty retreat.

On this last trip back to the States--I sat next to a guy reading one, and it looked much friendlier in that environment, so I was beginning to warm to the idea.

But today the scales were tipped irrevocably in the direction of Kindle for the simple reason that my daughter (under a pseudonym) has published a picaresque novella on Kindle, La Belle Cossaque.

I am going to a play tonight at least in part because the playwright is a friend of mine. I have several volumes of poetry inscribed by the author and have sat through several plays that were, well, not quite entertaining because a friend was in the play or wrote it or some such. If someone had tried to convince me that I could actually enjoy a book with a drunken, mercenary cossack as the hero, I would have smiled politely and wondered what made them think I would like such a thing.

I like La Belle Cossaque --both the character and the novella. It is an ironic look at the strange times in which we are living. It is a nod to the long term effects that accidents of history have on individuals with a fond rendering of Kurosawa's broken samurai charcters in an entirely different mold.

It is easy to admire warriors with their unambiguous approach to honour, but it can be very difficult to figure out how to live with them. La Belle Cossaque offers a little look at that. As a picaresque, each of the chapters is a standalone adventure. My favourite is democracy on the moon. In a few words, the madness of the Bush era is laid bare.

And so for the sheer pleasure of re-reading La Belle Cossaque, I'm going to buy a Kindle.

Here is the link to my daughter's book if you'd like to see for yourself:

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At 2:25 PM, Blogger Hayden said...

Congratulations to your daughter!

I haven't yet yielded to the Kindle thing. The feel of paper and the flexibility of it have me tied in pretty hard.

sigh. I don't know. I just don't want one more thing that needs to be charged, and after the latest legal debacle w/ Kindle I don't really trust them for anything I actually need.

then again. I just shipped WAYYY too many books, and they are brutally heavy.

At 2:25 PM, Blogger Hayden said...

perhaps a book on kindle isn't a book... but a story.... which puts things right back where it all began, right?

At 9:34 AM, Blogger landgirl said...

Oh I like to think of kindle books as story books or as the old fashioned pocket books, which you really could slide into a pocket. I was definitely anti kindle until I saw one on my return flight back home. I actually managed to pick it up nad have a look at it. I think I would put it more in the friendly techno gadget category now.


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