The Year of Reading Dangerously: How Fifty Great Books Saved My Life

Andy Miller

The Year of Reading Dangerously: How Fifty Great Books Saved My Life
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The Year of Reading Dangerously: How Fifty Great Books Saved My Life

Andy Miller

A funny, scrupulously honest account of one man’s quest to reverse 20 years of lies and read the books he’s always claimed to have read.

‘I loved the writing and the characterisation, oh, and the plot - yeah, all really pithy. Really great’: sound familiar?

Andy Miller has been living a lie. But then again, who hasn’t? How many books have you claimed to have read but never actually finished, or started, or even heard of? Books you’ve really wanted to read, or should have read, but never had the time, or the inclination? Tackling the canon single-handedly, Miller decides to rectify his twenty odd years of lies and silence his nagging guilt and become the literate man he’s always claimed himself to be.

The Year of Reading Dangerously is an inspired and witty tour of literature from all genres: classic, cult and Dan Brown. A comparative reading of The Da Vinci Code and Moby Dick somehow seems inevitable, the Charles Arrowby cookbook becomes a terrifying possibility and an explanation of the curious unreadability of Catch-22 is attempted. We travel from the mires of inaccessibility, incomprehensibility, commodification and confusion to moments of enlightened, ecstatic wonder. It becomes unavoidable to consider how we buy, borrow, steal and generally use and abuse books for our own complicated ends.

Written with characteristic sharp and honest humour, The Year of Reading Dangerously is an affirmation of the pleasure of reading and a challenge to everyone who loves books but has forgotten how to read. Out of serious enquiries into commercialism, mediocrity and our literary prejudices emerges a very funny account of one man’s attempt to read more dangerously.  

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