Paul’s review of Jim Flynn’s preposterous new book Fate and Philosophy, from the hitherto reliable Awa Press, is brilliant – the review of the year if not the decade. Seriously. It is vicious but fair, attacking the book not the author. Flynn gets off lightly – if I had reviewed it I would have been much nastier and said that the idea that some guy from Otago’s Pol Studs department had anything to offer on philosophy was risible. I thought his The Torchlight List was arrogant, but this is breathtakingly so. As Paul says:
This is a book about life’s great questions. [. . .] These questions have bothered philosophers for centuries but, happily, Professor Flynn has answered them all to his own satisfaction.The review proceeds to demolish the book, and skewer Flynn’s self-satisfaction, in the kind of writing that we want from Metro: informed, opinionated, amusing. And what makes it such a great review is that is describes the book properly, giving us enough information so that we can judge for ourselves whether the criticism is fair.
Elsewhere in the magazine is Waikato Times columnist Joshua Drummond on why he loves living in Hamilton, and pieces by David Slack, Steve Braunias, Charlotte Grimshaw, Jesse Mulligan and Donna Chisholm, among others. That’s quite a line-up. Also two pages of wisdom from Michael Horton, former publisher of the NZ Herald, on the future of our newspapers and why the Herald’s change of format may not be enough to save it. I don’t like everything in the magazine but that’s a good thing – I am not the target market. But I am impressed.