Re: Book Quality and Deckle Edge, Answering Numerous Reports of Problems UPDATED w/REVIEW
Avaliado nos Estados Unidos em 28 de agosto de 2021
I have just begun to read this book today--when it arrived--and wanted to address the quality of the book and the deckle edge. Many people are "reviewing" this wonderful novel by rating it low and complaining about "the poor quality" of the book and the paper, stating that they've never seen anything like it before.
The book is simply produced with a "deckle edge", which is a rough, untidy, rugged edge. Many books, both hardback and paperback, of today and of years ago, are made with this type of page edge on the right and left edges of the book. I am guessing that the critics have not seen this before. It is not the prettiest deckle, as I think it is a little tiny bit rough, but if so many people hadn't complained, I'd never have noticed it. It looks like it was intended to be that way. I personally love a deckle edge like this.
The paper quality is wonderful and doesn't feather or bleed through when highlighted or underlined in regular ballpoint pen.
I do think that it is as nice as any other hardback I've purchased, and not defective or inferior!
I have only begun to read this, and will edit this "review" with an actual review of the novel later when I finish it. I just didn't think it fair to this marvelously talented author that people look at the reviews (of which there are 14 as of the time of this writing) and see extremely low reviews--when there are just simply quite a few people unfamiliar with both deckle edges and the evaluation of paper quality!
Also, all of the pagination seems fine. It appears that some people are believing that they are experiencing rather strange problems. This appears to me to be a fine hardback book, and actually quite a good value considering the number of pages and the quality of the writing so far.
UPDATE: 10 days later...
The first thing I want to recommend about this book is that people purchase the hardback version. The reason is that in the process of learning about all of the characters here, the reader keeps referring back to the genealogy of the ancestors in the front of the book. So many times. I know this sounds like a huge hassle, but it is NOT—it is a part of understanding a whole community of ancestors, and it is necessary to really understand the many, many facets of their story.
Also I looked back again and again at the chapters in the table of contents that were flashbacks in time for reference. Of course you can do this with an e-reader but it is much more cumbersome. This is a precious story, one that I will read and re-read, and it is one that I keep notes in and want to refer back to. I know that this can be done as well with a Kindle, but it is different, and I strongly prefer a physical hardback book. Think of your favorite book ever, and if you want that to be in a hardback form, you want this one to be the same.
I read this book in ten days and it was a beautiful adventure, one that I wished would never end. It is the story of not just of a woman (though it is that too), but the story of a people—all of the main character’s ancestors too. All those who came before her. The main character’s story cannot be understood apart from them. In reading this story, I came to experience this in a very profound way—how we are all connected to those who came before us, and how they all are a very real part of us now. Of course, I would have said that I recognized this before I read the book, but now I understand this in a really visceral way as well.
This book is a portal into seeing a part of a people’s experience that I could not experience any other way. Not just African Americans, but Native Americans and White people too, in a way that is raw and real and impactful, because of the pain, cruelty, humanness, kindness, and familial love that permeates this novel.
I want to give a trigger warning as this book reflects the reality of harsh living in the early part of our country’s history, including stories of abuse and violations of all types. None of it is gratuitous though, and much of the details are left to the imagination, expressed as people of that time would if they were sharing it with others.
The novel takes place for the most part in Chicasetta, Georgia, and follows many generations of the people who lived there. It is inclusive in that it enables the readers to witness the thoughts, decisions, and justifications of many loving actions and even more horrendous and grotesque actions. In other words, it is a human experience for this time in history. I felt like I entered into a place that would be closed off to me because of time, race, and geography. I felt privileged to hear these precious stories. Even though this is fiction, I do think that the stories are familiar and common to so many families of that time. And to those alive now, too.
I just finished now this book and am so sad to leave these characters behind. I cannot imagine anyone regretting purchasing this book, and investing hours in reading it, gaining the privilege of participating in a world view that this so comprehensive that they’d never be invited it into otherwise. I feel like I’ve had a vital glimpse into what Black people and Native Americans have experienced, and White people too—one that I could gain in no other way.
Highest recommendation, one of my favorite books, ever.
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