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Saturday, 8 January 2011

From the Canadian Literary Files

It took me about 3 hours (cover to cover) to read Andrew Kaufman's All My Friends are Superheroes. It is what I like to call "a perfect little book". Every word of every sentence just works. So it was with great satisfaction that I picked up Kaufman's second novel, The Waterproof Bible.

This one took me a little more time, maybe 3 days to read. All the same, it was satisfying and charming and heartfelt and smart in the same way as All My Friends, and about twice the length.

The premise of
The Waterproof Bible is the same sort of unexpectedly simple magic found in Kaufman's other novel: the protagonist, Rebecca, is born with the ability to project her emotions and the more powerful the feeling, the farther it reaches. To deal with the potency of her feelings, she learns to store memories in physical objects. The Waterproof Bible imagines what it would be like to have feelings made physical in such a concrete way.

What I like about Kaufman's writing is how a small piece of magic creates an opening for metaphysical reflection on the way non-magical people live their lives. This is allegory used in the wisest of ways.

If you want to get a little more of the plot and a little less approval (only a little though, because it's really good!), check out this review, because it conveys exactly my feelings about the power of The Waterproof Bible to explore us now.

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