What follows here is the first installment of an experimental book review. I am currently reading two books at the same time and I want to share my thoughts about them with you. They are two very different books. In fact, about the only thing they have in common is that they are both written in English.
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The books are Bob Dylan's Chronicles and Penn Jillette's Sock. I believe Mr. Dylan needs no introduction. Mr. Jillette, on the other hand, is the talking member of the Penn & Teller comedy/magic act currently ensconced in Las Vegas.
In this first installment I will refrain from reviewing the text of the books. That will come later. I have only just begun to read the books and my intention here is to compare and contrast them. I will say this: reading Dylan's Chronicles is like being on Vicodine; reading Jillette's Sock is like being on LSD.
Before I read a book I like to look it over. Feel it. Read the blurbs. Look at the copyright page. Read the dedication. Another thing these books have in common is that they do not contain dedications. And so, here we go:
Dylan's book is 293 pages divided into 5 chapters.
Jillette's book is 226 pages divided into 47 chapters.
Dylan's book is hard cover with dustcover in black and white and retails for $24.00.
Jillette's book is a trade paperback in four color wrappers and retails for $12.95.
On the copyright page under Library of Congress-in-publication data, Dylan's book reads:
1. Dylan, Bob. 1941
2. Singers-United States-Biography
Jillette's book reads:
1. Women-Crimes against-Fiction
2. New York (N.Y.)-Fiction
3. Murder victums-Fiction
4. Police divers-Fiction
5. Gay men-Fiction
Jillette's book has a cleaver device that runs thoughout the entire book.
Dylan's book does not.
Dylan's book is told from his own perspective.
Jillette's book is told from the perspective of a sock-monkey named Dickie.
The first sentence of Jillette's book is:
"Bad monkey wammerjammer."
The first sentence of Dylan's book is:
"Lou Levy, top man of Leeds Music Publishing company, took me up in a taxi to the Pythian Temple on West 70th Street to show me the pocket sized recording studio where Bill Haley and His Comets had recorded "Rock Around the Clock" - then drove down to Jack Dempsey's resturant on 58th and Broadway, where we sat down in the red leather upholstered booth facing the window."
I am a slow reader. I like to chew my food before I swallow it. It may take a little time before I come up with installment number two of my experimental book review. I am, after all, reading two books at the same time.
See you again. Some time.