PIECES by Tom Dawson


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Dawson offers excerpts from his novel Cottonwood (2012), a few line drawings, plus blog posts on everything from Twitter to Dennis Rodman’s trip to North Korea.

Based on jottings Dawson made in a notebook while awaiting cancer treatments at the University of Colorado cancer center in Aurora, this slim volume presents a year’s worth of his random musings on a wide range of subjects. Originally published on his website, the short entries touch lightly on such topics as Dilbert comic strips, dementia, the film Amour (2012), NASA’s Curiosity rover, folk musician Sixto Rodriquez, the May/June 2007 issue of National Geographic Traveler, and how these days, thanks to the Internet, “not-so-smart people can publish their own books, and people with...smart devices can, with a couple of key strokes, begin reading the hubris in the privacy of…restroom stalls.” The collection also includes a dozen or so excerpts from the author’s novel, Cottonwood, many only a paragraph in length, plus a series of sketches that may remind some readers of James Thurber’s drawings at their minimalist best. Interestingly, for a cancer patient—and Vietnam veteran who was exposed to Agent Orange—Dawson makes scant reference either to the illness or the war. On the latter, for instance, he offers little more than clichés: “Some things can’t be understood” and “It is what it is.” On the other hand, since the “pieces” are superficial as well as brief, they are easy to sample. Readers could dip into the book anywhere and read as little as they wish, though perhaps not as much as they might have hoped. In particular, fans of Dawson’s blog may enjoy having his posts available in printed form.

A book of ephemera that makes up in breadth for what it lacks in depth.

Pub Date: Nov. 6th, 2013
ISBN: 9781492195740
Page count: 160pp
Publisher: CreateSpace
Program: Kirkus Indie
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