Sound of a Wild Snail Eating

Elisabeth Tova Bailey's slim little book The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating is a fast-reading slow-motion film, closely-observed and beautifully-written. It glows with attention paid to the minute maneuvers of a wee fellow creature. Yet somehow, the book doesn't satisfy. Why?

Or maybe Snail is just an extraordinarily fine short essay that was force-fed to grow into book length. And maybe it's best to cherish it as that. Bailey brings to mind The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Baby, plus bits of Charles Darwin's Origin of Species and Verlyn Klinkenborg's Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile. Good company to keep!

^z - 2015-10-24