I downloaded the ebook “The Only Harmless Great Thing” by Brooke Bolander today, and can’t stop thinking about how beautiful the writing is. The story is both painful and beautiful, but the magic is in how Bolander creates a history and an alternate reality that feels as real as my desk chair.
I want to learn to sign to elephants. I want to open a history book and see a paragraph about Topsy.
I heard about this novella when it came out, had seen the comments on Twitter and the reviews online and in print, but hadn’t gotten myself to the point of reading it. I always have excuses why I can’t read something (too busy with other books, too cheap, too whatever) but the truth is I was afraid I’d read the first paragraph and dislike it, which has happened with a lot of books other people raved about. I just didn’t want that to happen again, so instead I re-read (for the 49th time) books already on my bookshelf. I’m glad I waited…I needed that book in my life today. I needed words that sang on the page, and definitely needed the elephant’s vision of “stories.”
The ebook is free through January 19th.