Sara Backer's Reviews > Burn & Learn, Memoirs of the Cenozoic Era: A Novel

Burn & Learn, Memoirs of the Cenozoic Era by Eric Paul Shaffer
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's review
Dec 14, 2009

it was amazing
Read in December, 2009

Burn & Learn is--I promise--unlike any book you've read before. Calling itself a "biomorphic bookmovie" and "unabridged encyclopedia of the Century of Technological Disaster", it's a self-conscious but never pompous, irreverent yet profound, 415 pages of observations, fables, lists, koans, flash fiction, prose poetry, ads, and more. Shaffer challenges not only your expectations of what a book is, but the very way you read. The chapters are short and addictive, related by recurring themes and unfettered by chronology. Check out some of the chapter titles: "The Most Sarcastic Woman in the World", "Serendipity, Synchronicity, Stupidity, Simplicity", "Yorick's Vanilla Grin", "My Uncle Killed John Wayne First" and "Anonymous Beer". As you browse and read the chapters in whatever order you want, finding out what's on the 20th Century Missing List and how to celebrate International Time Travel Day with Reckless and his pals, you'll find yourself having more fun than you thought a book could provide.

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