Friday, January 26, 2007

Underrated Fiction: The World As I Found It

Bruce Duffy published The World As I Found It in 1987 and I first read it a few years after, having come across a copy in a bookstore in Ireland, I think. Reading the book was one of those rare transforming experiences that made me realize I wanted nothing out of life except to do that. It's the kind of book that is so good, you fall in love with the font (Bembo) and think all books should be printed in it.

It's a 700-page novel about Wittgenstein and Bertrand Russell, but it's somehow funny, humane, and exciting, as well as brainy. Perhaps the book isn't more well-known because the subject matter puts people off, or maybe the publisher just didn't print enough copies for it to gather the cult following it deserves. I've always felt bad about it, because it took Duffy ten years to write (according to the flap copy; I've never met the guy though I certainly owe him a fan letter) and it's clearly a life's work.

1 comment:

—T. said...

... the subject matter puts people off ...? Cripes, you dangle something like that then I have to find out what this book is about. I'm going to Google it as soon as I can pull myself away from Ward Six.