I would firstly like to apologise for the lack of blog posts recently. I have had a lots of things going on behind the scenes in my life, which not only stopped me from getting much reading done, but also temporarily killed all of my motivation. However, we shan’t dwell. I’m back with not one, not two, but THREE BOOK REVIEWS ALL ROLLED INTO ONE. Today (two days late, sorry) I shall be reviewing three of Markus Almond’s books of paraprose, I hope you enjoy.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term paraprose, it is very simply as it states; short prose, typically a paragraph or less. This, as far as I can tell is Markus Almond’s primary technique, which he uses to tell stories, discuss thoughts on certain subjects and to drop little pearls of wisdom. I began by stumbling upon and reading Things To Shout Out Loud At Parties.
This is a collection of paraprose by author Markus Almond. Showcasing some of his most honest and personal writing, this compilation contains stories of love and redemption, sex and parties, tales of heartbreak and squinting in the morning sun. Things don’t always turn out the way we expect. But with the right attitude and some good friends, you can always find your way to the next adventure.
I absolutely loved this collection of musings from Almond. I found it so relatable, so real and so unfiltered. It was honest and had a very human feel to it, and as you read you felt almost a closeness to Almond. Reading and enjoying this collection lead to me to read his two others: This Book Will Break a Window If You Throw It Hard Enough and Brooklyn to Mars. Both again follow the same idea.
Paraprose is a format I had never read before, however absolutely love. It is so easy to read (as well as very quick to read) and provides snippets of discussion on a variety of topics, which is oftentimes all that is necessary. It is a true skill to be able to encapsulate all your thoughts on a subject into such a small number of words, however Almond manages to do this on a variety of subjects while never compromising his beautiful and eloquent writing style. His writing style reminds me very much of Matt Haig. Almond has such a profound way of viewing the world and takes inspiration from his experiences in order to generate some passages which have a self help aspect to them.
“I will have shortcomings I may never fully conquer. I will have suffocating fears that I must wake up to every day. But I tango with the beasts until my feet are numb and I will wake up tomorrow to try again.” (Brooklyn to Mars)
As well as beautiful writing, Almond discusses such a wide array of topics, which again adds to the enriching experience. It is almost like an essay collection with a twist, some passages being more like personal essays, others tackling broader issues such as consumerism etc.
I loved the way these books were formatted, and I love the idea of paraprose. I have been looking into it more and more as a result of reading these three collections by Markus Almond and am inspired to try and write some of my own. It seems an intriguing way to try and improve my writing abilities, and I am eager to give it a shot. I like the idea of having complete freedom to use words and prose in a different way, which doesn’t follow the expected format of a book. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed these collections and would recommend them most highly.
Once again, apologies for my absence, I’m glad to be back.