Am I Alone Here?: Notes on Living to Read and Reading to Live

By all accounts this book should be right up my alley—a book about reading to live? Sign me up. Instead, it’s a cautionary tale about the hubris of writers, especially those who think to build a book on the bones of other (greater) writers. How many actual words were churned up here by Orner? Not as many as those he quoted, and who can argue with a book primarily made up of Melville, Welty, Woolf, Chekhov, Kafka? Annoying, cloying, fawning paragraphs of his own writing that toss out bits of garbage about his life, his botched marriage, his time in Prague, Cincinnati, San Francisco. He thinks highly of himself, foolishly so.