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The Book of Frog by Jan Zwicky

The Book of Frog

by Jan Zwicky

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(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com]. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)

Although I have so far liked every single book I've ever received from the great Canadian publisher Pedlar Press, let's just admit that I've liked some of them more than others; and their latest, Jan Zwicky's The Book of Frog, unfortunately falls on the low end of that scale, a pleasant enough ditty but with just not that much there. It's ostensibly written as a sort of charming little fairytale, about a rock a couple find in the ocean one day that looks weirdly like a frog, and how this stone frog ends up going on a series of adventures, sending emails back to the other knick-knacks in the couple's house who the frog is friends with, and digressing on various subjects involving philosophy and international travel; but to be honest, the whole thing feels like it probably started life as a series of cutesy emails Zwicky and her husband traded whenever one was out of town, which is then lent credence by a series of photos of the actual frog-shaped rock in question, as well as all the other little objects he is always talking to. Make no mistake, it's just as gorgeous-looking a book as Pedlar always puts out, and it's absolutely a sweet little story that I enjoyed reading; it's just that I'm used to weightier and more thought-provoking things from this publisher, while this feels as inconsequential as those slick little compilation books you see in the checkout lane at chain bookstores. It should be kept in mind when deciding whether to pick up a copy yourself.

Out of 10: 8.1 ( )
  jasonpettus | Mar 7, 2013 |
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A multi-voiced conversation about everything, from metaphysics to everyday conversation.

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