Kay's Reviews > The Best of Myles

The Best of Myles by Myles na gCopaleen
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it was amazing
bookshelves: humor-whimsy, satire, ireland-irish-lit, favorites, nonfiction

A good deal of this collection was beyond my comprehension -- being firmly rooted in a time and place that I have scant knowledge of. What can you expect of a book that consists of thirty years' work by a newspaper columnist (and novelist), however brilliant? However, even though the average reader isn't privileged to understand all the references Myles makes to local concerns, at times his columns hit a mark of comic brilliance that is unmatched.

Consider, for example, several columns devoted to Myles' concept of "Buchhandlung" - perennial favorites of mine. Myles' idea was that most people would rather appear to be well read than to actually be well read. So, in a fine entrepreneurial scheme, he proposes setting up a "Bookhander" service -- he will personally come in and give your library the well-thumbed look that makes it seem you have read all those impressive tomes. "Why should a wealthy person... be put to the trouble of pretending to read at all? Why not a professional book-handler to go in and suitably maul his library for so-much a shelf? Such a person, if properly qualified, could make a fortune."

He then goes through a litany of the types of "handling" that he would be willing to do - and how much each type would cost, from "Popular Handling" (including insertion of tram tickets or other casual book marks to dog-earing four pages per volume) to "Premier Handling" (insertion of cryptic learned marginalia, extensive underlining, the insertion of a leaflet in French on the works of Victor Hugo).

Miles spins out this idea for an impressive number of pages. And if you can read it without tears of laughter streaming down your face, then there's little hope for you in this world of strife.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
June 1, 2000 – Finished Reading
August 2, 2007 – Shelved
August 2, 2007 – Shelved as: humor-whimsy
August 2, 2007 – Shelved as: satire
January 16, 2008 – Shelved as: ireland-irish-lit
March 11, 2011 – Shelved as: favorites
January 11, 2013 – Shelved as: nonfiction

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