My second #ARCAugust review is actually for a book I read last year and never managed to post a review for… Honestly, that was a complete oversight on my part and totally not normal. Corrected now! Whew.
Kenneth Sherman is a Canadian poet. He’s been on my radar for a few months now, and when a copy of his newest book was available to request on NetGalley, I jumped at the chance to better understand his words. Unfortunately, things didn’t quite turn out how I had hoped they would…
You see, I’m not much of a poet myself. I don’t want to be a poet in the writing sense, but I do in the consumption sense. I want to better understand the words poets use, the world they view and experience the beauty of poetry in general. Gretchen @ Chic Nerd Reads has been inspiring me with her poetry lately. Plus, I recently re-read A Comedy of Errors and I recently saw A Midsummer Night’s Dream performed live. Any form of absorbing Shakespeare reminds me that when I was a child I adored poetry. So, why have I drifted? It was time to explore.
There are so many things I adore about this book of poems. First, as a musician, I greatly appreciate the poems with musical motifs. I can strongly relate to them, and I recognize the pull of music in the words of poems– just as mentioned in the title poem. I appreciate the breadth of topics, as well. Sherman addresses sickness, mentorship, life on the water, and the life of the dispossessed. Each poem follows one another with little pause, sliding the ideas together.
However, there lies my greatest problem. I received an ARC eBook for this review– and honestly, it’s a mess. Or, I think it is? It’s hard to tell with poetry. But I’m pretty sure this one is a wreck. The poems slide together literally seamlessly, meaning I don’t know where one poem ends and another begins. This led to a constant struggle. Not even line breaks or titles in most cases. I had to copy down the table of contents and compare it to the text as I read. That helped me ID changes in poems, but still…
Sadly, this was a less than pleasurable experience due to the formatting issues. Once I was able to separate out all the lines of a single poem, I read them repeatedly to myself and quite enjoyed it. But so much effort was required to read the entire book, I should have just given up. The only reason this book gets more than 1 star is due to the fact I easily fell in love with the words I could separate out.
That said, I am also super excited to be publishing a review for my first indie publisher! This is my first experience with formatting issues in ARCs, and I don’t know if this is something I can expect by publishing house or if this it was just a random fluke? I reached out to the publisher, but I heard nothing. I hope they have corrected this in the paperback!
While this didn’t fit what I was looking for, I feel like the paperback might be a better fit. Perhaps I’ll seek it out someday? Who knows. I do know I won’t give up on poetry yet. Gretchen wouldn’t like that much! 😀
I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and ECW Press in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinions of this book. Check out ECW Press on their website for more information. Kenneth Sherman does not have a website of his own, but you can learn more about him here.
What do you think?
- Do you read poetry? Why or why not?
- Have formatting errors ever ruined a book for you? If so, what were the errors and how did it ruin the book?
- Have you ever run into formatting issues with NetGalley books? Tell your stories below!