Backlog Busting: The Argonauts by Maggie Neslon

When reading an autobiographical style book, it helps to know who the person you are reading is. I, being a fool, did not even think to look up who Maggie Nelson was until a confusing few hours into the book. This was an Our Shared Shelf book pick back when I was actually following Our Shared Shelf (Emma Watson’s bookclub). Which means to say I have had it on my shelf at least two years.

It is a loose autobiographical style, in that it is fairly full of philosophers quotes, and jumps around a lot in time. The key themes I took from it were gender expression, acceptance and the world is weird. Apart from that, I had to really concentrate as I read this to keep from becoming utterly bamzoodled. Again, it would probably have helped if I knew who Maggie Nelson and Harry Dodge were, and a bit of their life.

As a read about gender expression and how people react to bodies, it was very interesting. I liked the intellectual thoughts. However, on a very personal level, I can now say that I wouldn’t have picked this up on my own, and having read it I still wouldn’t pick it up again. I found it very tough to keep my focus and to keep reading.

Short review, but I bought this for a book group, read it to beat the backlog, and I can’t say I enjoyed myself all that much. Biographical styles aren’t really my cup of tea, and they never have been.



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