this book crept up on me. crept up on me and then hit me over the head. i didn't like it at first. i wondered at around chapter 6 or 7 if i oughtn't stick it in the "didn't finish" pile and move on. for some reason, though, i didn't. perhaps because i was almost halfway through and it seemed a waste to give up now. and that's when it got me. i suddenly found that i wasn't bored, but charmed. thoroughly charmed by paul chowder and his voice, which is a lot like my own voice in my head, except his knows a lot more about poetry. and mine is less fond of rhyme. this book is a love story and a love letter about language and poetry and human connection. there is a wonderful abundance of odd and exquisite metaphor. there are made up words. there are little humming snippets of tune. it's a lovely, trickling, marvellously enthusiastic and tender book. if only the cover weren't so ugly. a green shuttlecock, simon & schuster? really?