What a delightfully witty collection of reviews! At first glance, the reviews in Kevin Thomas’s Horn! The Collected Reviews appear like merely a condensed synopsis of each book. But after reading more and more, you realize that Thomas has found the most important elements of each book and highlit it in with spare comic hand. An added bonus is that he reviews many titles put out by small publishers.
I found that preferred reading the reviews of books I’ve read over the ones I hadn’t. He distills the essence of each book into 9 tiny graphic panes. And I loved that the first pane is always a rendition of the cover, but with a little embellishment of his own. This is Thomas’s review of The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis, “We catch glimpses of Hattie through the lives of her children, their sickness and poverty, addiction and abuse, mental illness and salvation. In painting a picture of one woman, Mathis has given us nothing less than a portrait of the twentieth century.” Other favorites of mine are his reviews of Fobbit by David Abrams, Great Philosophers who Failed at Love by Andrew Shaffer, and Speedboat by Renata Adler. Lucky for us and the book world, he continues reviewing, getting it just right.