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Peter Mallory's Blog

By pmallory - Posted on 20 June 2012

27 December 2011

I recently received another email well worth sharing. I'll leave it unattributed as its message is universal:

Hi Pete,

I have set as my goal for my "winter break" week a complete reading of THE BOOK (all 4 volumes). I finished Volume1 in one day and hope to keep up that pace, to experience the work as a unit rather than in bits and pieces.

I am delighted that you employ a central, metaphor (evolution/natural selection), which gives the work a rich "universality" and allows for the reader to see himself in the remarkable events described. We are reminded that "the other person is you." If the test of effective writing is that it enables us to "better notice" what we "see," then the work passes the test.

I am struck by the fact that I lived firsthand much of what is described, yet it is as if I had been brain dead! I am constantly thinking, "So that's what was really going on." It brings to mind the pleas of Ray Bradbury and Thornton Wilder that we live our lives largely "blind" and should slow down, take a deep breath, and open our eyes and minds, the cliche that life is not a rehearsal. For someone who lived much of the history, it is a sobering lesson in how much richness there was missed. It is as if I had been living a Cliff's Notes verion of life, all the individualizing detail unnoticed. The bad news is that it was missed; the good news is that you have given us a "second chance," which is the vocation of a writer, I believe: to "re-mind" us.

I am having a blast. It is fabulous. A huge gift! I am forgetting to eat and, occasionally, to breathe. THANK YOU!!!

All the best,

Happy New Year, everyone!