Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Books in Canada

A very positive review of David's Saltsea in Books in Canada. I can't quote it all for you here (later, later), but reviewer Michael Greenstein writes " ... At the beginning, the reader has to adjust to the shifts in perspective, but once the reader becomes more familiar with the characters, the novel succeeds beautifully, thanks to Helwig's poetic, dramatic and cinematic talents. Multiple streams of consciousness make it seem as if the spirit of Henry James or Virginia Woolf were hovering over Helwig's Island. ..."
It is an excellent review, much better (though equally full of praise) than the Globe review of a few weeks past. Greenstein delves more deeply into the book here, into its structure, motifs, music. The review is only marred by one line, the last in the review, though this has nothing to do with David or his novel, but with us:
"Only some faulty typesetting diminishes Helwig's fine figures."
An odd statement, offered with no explanantion, and one I cannot understand, as I think Saltsea -- with one small exception, a bleed issue on the title page which did not get caught (& remains easy to miss) -- an elegantly typeset book. The only thing I can think of is the reviewer may not be a fan of the unjustified margin. In any case, I have sent a query to ask him. I would never bother a reviewer about their perception of a book, but design is another thing. Perhaps he can point out where we erred here, and I may learn something.

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