Slate puzzles over the appeal of Simon Winchester
, but more or less answers its own question. what does Winchester offer? escape. escape. escapism.
Nathan Heller, the Slate writer, however, is justified in pointing out a curiousity about SW. specifically, how does a writer so un-unified in prose, picking such eclectic and wide-ranging topics, draw such a loyal and devoted following? well-- I admit-- I don't know either. it's a mystery. all art is, one supposes; a sequence of sounds, arranged a certain way, is a Mozart concerto. organized differently, it's the sound of a car crash. there are moments in a Winchester prose piece that seem to draw you to say... well, let's call this a 3. but winchester almost unfailingly recovers. everything's a 4 by the end... mostly. and with topic material including the OED (two books), a walk through Korea, going up the Yangtze (subject covered twice), getting arrested by the invading Argentinians in LAS MALVINAS haha (apparently providing material for at least 2-3 pieces), one guesses Simon Winchester is charmed. he's charming. he's a charm.
ATLANTIC may not have quite as much coverage of pirates as one might like. there are awkward sentences, paragraphs. but somehow the whole thing hangs together. the man is an artist. 4/5
other books by SW: [b:Professor and the Madman|25019|The Professor and the Madman A Tale of Murder, Insanity and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary|Simon Winchester|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1349070925s/25019.jpg|1628566] [b:Man Who Loved China|2763494|The Man Who Loved China The Fantastic Story of the Eccentric Scientist Who Unlocked the Mysteries of the Middle Kingdom|Simon Winchester|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1348219384s/2763494.jpg|10010357] [b:Krakatoa|25017|Krakatoa The Day the World Exploded|Simon Winchester|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1348890801s/25017.jpg|2084098] [b:Korea A Walk through the Land of Miracles|25018|Korea A Walk Through the Land of Miracles|Simon Winchester|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1347343463s/25018.jpg|3739584] [b:Outposts|25016|Outposts Journeys to the Surviving Relics of the British Empire|Simon Winchester|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1348894997s/25016.jpg|1771244].