Saturday, December 29, 2012

A Humument: A Treated Victorian Novel

A Humument: A Treated Victorian NovelA Humument: A Treated Victorian Novel by Tom Phillips
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is possibly the most beautiful book I own. It may also be one of the most beautiful pieces of art I own. Oh, and, in a strange way, it's a sculpture, as well. I strongly doubt, however, that you will hear an audiobook version of this work. It just doesn't lend itself to auditory appreciation (unless one likes the sound of pages flipping, which is, I must admit, one of the more pleasing sounds to my ears). And describing the work doesn't do it justice at all. This is an artifact that one must see and handle for one's self. I won't demean the beauty of this work by trying to explain the mechanics of its creation. That story is well-documented and, yes, intriguing. But reading A Humument is more about the experience of interfacing with Phillips' incredible creation (or reincarnation?) than about appreciating the history of the book's construction. And it is not really about the "plot," if you can even say it has a plot. "Reading" is not even an accurate term to describe one's interfacing with this work. "Breathing" might be more appropriate, or "meditating" or "absorbing" or even "melding with". As I think about it, I like the last description best: one melds with A Humument. I wish I could adequately relate the grandeur of this work, the monumental TREASURE that it is. Alas, all I can do is to hope to allure you into finding a copy for yourself so that you can meld with it, as I have. Sorry, everyone, but you're on your own this time. You and the book. Just the two of you. I can't help you. Besides, I'm a bit busy melding with this treasure myself.

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