Monday, January 20, 2014

Talking Pictures

I bought "Talking Pictures" by Ransom Riggs this weekend on a whim after finding it on a list of "$2.99 and under" ebooks from Barnes & Noble. Riggs is most notably known for his book, "Ms. Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children." I immediately fell in love with the title and the concept — a story based on strange, old photographs — but the execution didn't live up to my hopes at all. I do still plan to read the next one, which came out this month.

"Talking Pictures" is a compilation of old photographs collected by Riggs and a few others. What makes these photographs especially interesting are the captions written on them. They range from hilarious to poignant. The chapter entitled "Janet Lee" is especially heartbreaking.

I could not tear myself away from this book. I couldn't wait to get to the next photograph — each of them was a window into the past, and the captions brought a sense of intimacy to them. Viewing it on my Nook HD worked well, because I could blow up the pictures and examine them more closely. Often this led me to see things I otherwise wouldn't have. I enjoyed inspecting the backgrounds in each of the pictures, and getting a close-up look at the faces. My only real complaint is that I wish it would have been longer, because it left me wanting more. I think it may even inspire me to start a collection of old photographs with interesting captions of my own. This is definitely worth checking out if you have any interest in old photography. I'm happy I bought it because it's something I can definitely see myself going back to once a year. I give it 4.5 stars.

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