When a book is like a restaurant

You went a couple of times before and it was all right, but there are so many choices for fine dining that it wasn’t good enough to return. Then you hear that the menu has been upgraded and the chef is taking some interesting chances with variety and quality. So you decide to go back and try the place again.

It has been repainted and looks quite appealing. There is a new facade. You order with anticipation and hope. What an array! There are new things here. The starters look appealing, don’t they. Um, what’s this? Is that canned tuna? Okay, so the starter falls a bit flat, you go for the new and appetizing-looking entree. Look at all the choices! What a pretty presentation.

Nice presentation, lots of variety, but is that canned tuna?

Why does this taste familiar? Isn’t this the same main course you had the last time you were here, only presented a bit differently?

This meat is way overcooked, don’t you think? Okay, move on to the desert course. Wow! Okay, now this looks good.

Is that artificial sweetener? Doesn’t this taste a bit like margarine to you?

How sad. You can see how hard the chef has tried, but what can you do. It’s a failure. Maybe he should go back to fry-cooking at McDonald’s.

There are books like restaurants, where you try to eat what’s on offer, but it’s just bland or over-cooked or doused in spices or all presentation without flavor. You feel bad for the chef, but hey, not everybody can cook. Well, yes, everybody can cook … but not everybody can be a chef.

Some books, like some dishes, you just can’t finish, or if you do finish simply out of politeness, will leave you empty at the end.



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