Consumed over a cup of coffee, 800 words provide Dowd the ideal length to call her readers' attention to the ephemera at hand that may reveal larger trends and developments. But smart remarks are reductive and anti-ruminative; not only do they not encourage deeper analysis, they stymie it...Bloggers shouldn't be writing books either then, I suppose. But there is this urge to become a permanent object -- a permanent, saleable object.
When a few hundred pages' worth of these observations are published in one book, they suffer the opposite of synergy, adding up to less than the sum of their parts. Energizing in small morning doses, the author's fast-talking spins on the spin can rear-end one another until the pileup exhausts a reader's patience.
November 13, 2005
Kathryn Harrison reviews Maureen Dowd's "Are Men Necessary?"