noelle's Reviews > Swallow: Foreign Bodies, Their Ingestion, Inspiration, and the Curious Doctor Who Extracted Them

Swallow by Mary Cappello
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Jul 15, 11

bookshelves: own, death
Read from February 24 to July 15, 2011

it took me months to read this, not because i am a slow reader, but because i kept picking it up and putting it down after a few pages. mary cappello's writing style is extremely off-putting, especially in a non-fiction context--she adds excessive flourishes and anecdotes and a whole bunch of other irrelevant shit. the bits that were actually about chevalier jackson and his collection were interesting, but it's hard to get through them when she's waxing philosophical about mouths and lips and sharing her tales of drinking soap.

a lot of people are claiming that it's dry and written like a textbook, but it ain't; it's prosaic... it's just shitty, somewhat unintelligible prose. there were parts that i really got into because they weren't hidden under attempts at being, uh, "literary," i guess. but those parts were few and far between. how disappointing.
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Quotes noelle Liked

Mary Cappello
“Sometimes people swallow things out of devotion or fidelity to a cause, as in the case of strategists and spies who make their way through enemy lines and then poop their war secrets at the foot of Napoleon.”
Mary Cappello, Swallow: Foreign Bodies, Their Ingestion, Inspiration, and the Curious Doctor Who Extracted Them
tags: poop


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