Monday, April 2, 2012
A Good and Useful Hurt by Aric Davis
Before looking at what's on the inside, I want to talk for a moment about what's on the outside. This is quite a stunning book to see in person. The colours on the cover really stand out, and the detail work at the start of each chapter gives it a special look. And it has a good heft; it feels good in my hands, and that's one of those indescribable personal details that always puts me in a good mind for reading. In his profile at the back of the book, Aric Davis says that he likes weather that's cold enough to wear a sweatshirt (but not a coat) - I love that weather, too. And now to the content. I was nervous when I started reading because I know very little about the world of tattoos; I was afraid that my lack of knowledge would mean that I wouldn't understand the book. No tattoo knowledge is necessary, I am happy to say. I think that people who do know a bit more about this world would appreciate the details and observations, but the book is completely accessible even to people who have never thought about getting a tattoo or a piercing. The chapters are the perfect length and keep the story moving without feeling choppy. It was a hard book to put down; the changing points of view meant that I wanted to keep going and explore what was going to happen next. I would frequently think, "okay, I'm just going to read one more chapter" and that would lead to many, many more. The idea of tattoos that include personal remains was something that I feel like I'd heard about before in real life, but not something I've seen explored in a book. It set the tone of the book with something slightly otherworldly yet completely grounded in the physical world.
I received a review copy courtesy of Little Bird Publicity.
Find it at IndieBound.
Learn more about Aric Davis at his website.
Read it with:
Nickel Plated by Aric Davis
From Ashes Rise by Aric Davis
Moody Food by Ray Robertson