Tuesday, April 07, 2015

A Brief Review of 'The Human Age' by Diane Ackerman

I listened to as much of this as I could stand in a books-on-CD that I had copied to my iPhone.

While properly speaking it is beneath notice or mention, I am writing this to warn others that life is short and that none of it should be wasted on this drivel.

Ackerman is a woman who decided to write a book and then went ahead and did it without it ever having occurred to her that a) a book should be about something and, b) should benefit the reader in some way.

Ackerman has done nothing but string together the familiar and obvious into a collage of cliches, her faux-literary style being in her mind sufficient justification for her pointless exercise in vanity.  She is apparently under the impression that because she is well-born, Ivy League-educated, and doubtless wealthy, that the reader is grateful for the blessing of listening to her plummy-voiced prattlings.  We aren't.

Much of the writing descends into anecdotes from the author's vacations with little pretense that they are relevant even to her theme, which seems to be that the world is largely as Ackerman has seen it in magazines.  From this emerges the sub-text of the 'book' emerges, which is that Ackerman is a wonderful person who is nice to the grateful little brown people she meets on vacation and that you would be lucky to meet her and be  her friend but of course you can't because she is cool and rich and you aren't.

It is ironic that in a book in which she puts forth the startlingly original notion that climate change might be an issue, she should publish a pointless book for which a number of living trees will have to be rendered into paper and almost instantly thereafter into landfill.

Diane Ackerman can best serve the rest of humanity by just shutting up, and if she cannot do that, by limiting her nonsense to resource-sparing electronic publishing.  The public library where I borrowed this owes me an apology for leaving it where I could find it, and Ackerman owes the public library an apology for charging them money for it.

No comments:

Post a Comment