Christina's Reviews > I Lick My Cheese And Other Notes: From The Frontline Of Flatsharing

I Lick My Cheese And Other Notes by Oonagh O'Hagan
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's review
Apr 29, 2011

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Read from April 29 to May 05, 2011

I love books that are compilations of found notes, but there was one thing about I Lick My Cheese... that I could live without: the author's commentary and/or humorous speculation as to the story behind the notes.

If you were to compare I Lick My Cheese... to Frank Warren's PostSecret books, you'd see what I mean. Frank Warren doesn't explain the postcards he publishes, but instead leaves them open to interpretation by the reader.

Oonagh O'Hagan prefers to write a little blurb about each note. In some cases - such as those notes whose recipient has provided her with the back-story for the note - the commentary can be very effective. However, some of the "humorous" speculations as to the notes' hidden meanings fall flat. Some of her commentary about the notes begin with this speculation only to end with the real story (see page 206). Why not just get to the point?

Because O'Hagan sets this precedent of adding her two cents after each note, you then have the comment (on page 213) "No explanation needed." This reminds me of a high school English teacher's advice to me many years ago: If something is self-explanatory, respect your reader's ability to figure it out for him- or herself. He also told me that if you have to begin a sentence with "Needless to say...", don't say it.

I kind of wish that teacher of mine had edited this book.
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04/29/2011 page 60

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