…Dear Committee Members, Over the past twenty-odd years I’ve recommended god only knows how many talented candidates for the Bentham January residency – that enviable literary oasis in the woods south of Skowhegan: the solitude, the pristine cabins, the artistic camaraderie, and those exquisite hand-delivered satchels of apples and cheese… Well, you can scratch all prior nominees and pretenders from your mailing lists, because none is as provocative or as promising as Darren Bowles.
Dear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher
From the book flap:
“…this droll and inventive novel uses to tell (the) tale is a series of hilarious letters of recommendation that he is endlessly called upon by this students and colleagues to produce, each one of which is a small masterpiece of high dudgeon, low spirits, and passive-aggressive strategies.”
As a fan of ‘inventive’ story-telling, I had to pick this up, and I’m betting it is as good as all the reviews say but I can’t say yet if that is true. This isn’t a book to be read slowly and savored, a chapter (or a letter) a night; it should be read in one sitting or, at most, over one weekend.
I read the first 5 letters with great enjoyment, but then it was a few days before I had time to read again and starting with the 6th letter after even that short period of time, wasn’t working. Therefore, I am considering this book for 2017 Brooklyn Book Group recommendation as well as a top choice for my next flight.