Posted by: GravatarWon'tDeleteMyAccount | October 19, 2008

David R. Perry: Dr. Lewis B. Turndevelt’s Big Book of Forewords



Welcome back! As some of you may know, last weekend was Thanksgiving in Canada, and seeing as that’s where I am, and seeing as how the three or four of you who read this blog are my close friends and unlikely to hold it against me, I took the week off.

But now that I’m back, I’ve got a review of an unconventional work of fiction, or literature, or… well it’s a work of forewords, really. Dr. Lewis B. Turndevelt’s Big Book of Forewords, to be precise. David R. Perry, writing in the guise of one Dr. Turndevelt, has decided to be groundbreaking in his approach to subject matter: he has written an entire book devoted to forewords.

Well. Forewords and Book excerpts. And a Preface. And a letter in response to the Preface. And a Preamble, an About the Author, an Interjection by the editor, and an Intermission. But mostly about half-ish devoted to forewords.

It would normally strike me as a terrible idea to write an entire book of forewords to non-existent books, given that even the most gifted of foreword writers wouldn’t bother. But, seeing as how Perry has decided not to bother either, I must assume that he thought the same. Dr. Lewis B. Turndevelt’s Big Book of Forewords isn’t so much a book of forewords as it is the written record of Dr. Turndevelt’s birth, adolescence, authorial “career” if one could call it such, and eventual slide into prescription drug abuse and nonsensical babbling. But there are some forewords in there too.

There’s a wonderful tone to the book, the character of Turndevelt being a somewhat professorial buffoon, but I warn anyone who feels like reading this book to take it in small doses. This is not a book to be read over the course of a weekend. Otherwise you may start thinking in a tone of voice that’s very reminiscent of a certain foreword writer. On the plus side, it appears that Perry/Turndevelt keeps a blog, and if you would like more measured doses you can check it out at www.davidrperry.com.

The only real downside I can see to this book is its ending, by which I mean the sudden fade out at the end of an excerpt from a fictional book about freezer food. It wanted a little something to tie it all up. In my humble opinion, this big book of forewords could have benefited, I think, from an afterword. But hey, half the fun is in the journey anyway.

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Dr. Lewis B. Turndevelt’s Big Book of Forewords is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs license. David R. Perry keeps a blog at www.davidrperry.com. You can find his book at this link.

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