The Facts of Winter (Paul La Farge)

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The Facts of Winter is one of the best books I’ve recently read. Written by Paul La Farge (pretending to translate poems by fictional French poet Paul Poissel), it’s a collection of extremely short chapters that are supposed to be poems describing dreams. Well, they certainly accomplish their mission: I haven’t read anything that so accurately captures the spirit of dreams before.

Each dream is an enchanting (and sometimes humorous, disturbing, or fascinating) glimpse into a character’s mind — although I’m not sure how much they can be considered “characters” since they are actually just names given to dreamers so the dreams have someone concrete to belong to. I was reading this book while staying in a large cabin with a group of friends, and I found the dreams to be rather delightful when read aloud to friends. This was a fun and quick read that most people would probably enjoy.

GOOD FOR:  People who love dreaming, fans of McSweeney’s publications, and anyone interested in an unusual and captivating read.

BAD FOR:  People who want a cohesive plot, readers looking for answers, those who don’t enjoy others’ musings.

GOOD WITH:  Hector and the Search for Happiness, The Little Prince, and The Lover’s Dictionary.

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