Friday, May 07, 2010

A Short Cut

A a public librarian, I find reading book reviews an invaluable time-saver. A good review (The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Washington Post) summarizes the book, compares it other things, and gives an assessment of its worth. The New Yorker offers many kinds of reviews, some under the expansive heading "Critic at Large." One of these, by Hilton Als in the April 26, 2010 issue, filled me in on Tyler Perry. His Don't Make a Black Woman Take off Her Earrings... was wildly popular here. For some reason, I had imagined his Madea as an incarnation of Flip Wilson's Geraldine, or someone low and raunchy. Instead I find - duh! - stories (plays and movies and books and TV shows) featuring exactly the kinds of suffering-but-triumphant Christian characters many of our patrons relate to and enjoy. I can't read and watch everything: thanks, Mr. Als, for keeping my understanding nuanced.