Review: Gavin Pretor-Pinney’s “The Cloudspotter’s Guide”

by writereaderly

This book’s main issue is that Gavin Pretor-Pinney is simply not cool (a condition I can only empathise with). Judging from photo, bio and text, he’s middle aged, (upper?) middle class, drab and kind of smug. He’s also obsessed by clouds, which is a redeeming feature, so he founded The Cloud Appreciation Society. Anyway, so someone who is inherently not cool cannot fake it, and this book – fantastic cover aside – just couldn’t hit that quirky yet informative note it was aiming for. It never failed to bore me to sleep over several nights, and I still can’t tell the names of any clouds. Abandoned at around p.100.

Where it came from: KT’s Housesat Bookshelf
Time taken to read: Various bed-nights, none with great enjoyment
Where it went to: Back on the shelf in shame
Reminds me of: That weird play we did in Year 4 or Year 5, where my friend Lisa played the hero and all the characters were named after clouds.
Who I’d recommend it to:
Also reading: “The Heart of the Matter” by Graham Greene; “The Blind Eye” by Georgia Blain; “Cold Comfort Farm” by Stella Gibbons; “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man” by James Joyce