Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Reader's Diary #692- Corey Redekop: Shelf Monkey

Instead of offering up my review of Corey Redekop's Shelf Monkey, I present you with my pitch to talk books with CBC's Shelagh Rogers on The Next Chapter, as part of their So You Think You Can Talk Books (sigh) campaign...

I can talk books. I read and talk about books all the time at my blog. Who can’t do that? Well, according to many of those who review books for a living, most people. Bloggers, reviewers, Good Reads patrons? Sure anyone can talk books, but the lacklustre quality of the majority of these reviews (or so the argument goes), threatens to destroy any true insight.

While not about book bloggers versus print reviewers, the characters in Corey Redekop’s brilliant first novel Shelf Monkey are no less passionate about books, and no more united. Redekop hilariously and daringly destroys the myth of the reader/non-reader dichotomy. Readers are not all created equal. As Thomas Friesen, Shelf Monkey’s maybe protagonist, would likely point out, there needs to be a distinction made between fans of Stephenie Meyer and readers of Margaret Atwood.

Shelf Monkey
is funny, satirical, and readers of all stripes will appreciate the myriad shout-outs to all their favourite and least favourite books. But more importantly, Redekop raises important questions about subjectivity, quality, snobbery and passion. How does capitalism influence the state of our literature? Serious thought, fun book. We all need to talk about it.

There. I hope that was provocative enough to pique their interests. If not, oh well. In the meantime, while they haven't made this a voting thing (yet), I'm sure it wouldn't hurt to see a lot of "thumbs up" by my comment. Hint, hint.


Megan said...

Sorry; your wish is my command, but I'm an insufficiently caffeinated doofus. I think I need a link directly to your comment. There are too many of them on that CBC page and only 5 per screen.

John Mutford said...

Megan: Sorry about that. They don't seem to be letting link directly to my comment, but as of right now, it's on page 11 of the comments. Lots of competition!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Of course Shelagh Rogers wants to talk books with you! Who wouldn't?

Allison said...

A plea made in Courier New font goes a long way. Good luck!

Unknown said...

I was the twelfth thumbs up. Looks like you are leading the thumb-race. I loved Shelf Monkey -- thought provoking, memorable, quirky, innovative...and Canadian.
Have a great chat with Shelagh!

John Mutford said...

Barbara: Steven Page, that's who.

Allison: yes, it's not nicknamed the Persuasion Font for nothing.

Scrat: I'm thinking of doing the entire chat with my offensive French accent. What do you think?

Em said...

I really want to read this book since I've heard about it with Canada Reads!

Em (

Wanda said...

:) Had a feeling you'd like this one! I'm glad you finally got the chance to read it and sorry I missed the pitch in March when I was MIA.