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A Disappointing Book That Will Hang on My Wall

22 Nov

The other day while my wife and I were shopping in one of our favorite thrift stores, I found what looked to be a Knights in Combatnifty little book. Titled “The Little Book of the Holy Grail,” (Barnes & Noble/The Book Laboratory, 2004), it purported to give some historical background to the grail legends and even “retells two of the most famous Grail stories.” It was also loaded with marvelous Medieval art related to the grail. Oh, yes. I bought it.

Sucker.

Disappointing could be taken as an understatement here. Let’s start with the writing. The author, whose name will not be mentioned as a courtesy, is supposedly an attorney with a Master’s degree in Theology. They should have taken a composition class or two.

The first section of the book, about the history of the grail legends, is pedestrian at best. It gets the facts across and that’s it. The recounting of the grail stories is where the eyes glaze over. Honestly, I’ve read better fifth grade book reports. I’d quote it but I want you to finish this post.

For the big finish, the final section of the book is called “Reclaiming the Feminine Aspect of Christianity.” Here the author tries to make Dan Brown look like a scholar by going over the same “was Jesus really married to Mary Magdalene?” road that’s been traveled to death. There’s even a chapter here titled “The Conspiracy Continues?” Honest.

The only saving grace for this book are the beautiful reproductions of grail-themed art. Yet even here, the book falls short. None of the artwork is identified by artist or title. The only thing the reader is given is a list of acknowledgements as to the sources of the paintings and drawings. Frustrating.

I was going to donate this book to another thrift store, but then I had an idea. I have purchased several nice wooden frames at another thrift store we frequent and I plan to use a very sharp utility knife to extricate my favorite pictures and place them in the frames. I’m still trying to decide where I will hang them, but I know they’ll look great wherever they wind up.

Nice save, if I say so myself.

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2 Comments

Posted by on November 22, 2013 in Book Hunting, Book Review, History

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

2 responses to “A Disappointing Book That Will Hang on My Wall

  1. jubilare

    November 25, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    Normally the librarian and archivist in me shudders at the thought of slicing and dicing books. It happens to so many treasures. In this case, though, I think it’s just fine.

     
  2. Rob

    November 25, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    Thank you. I normally feel the same, but this book cried out for dismantling. And the pictures really will look great on my walls!

    Hope you have a great Thanksgiving!

     

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