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  • Writer's pictureJohn Dodd

Book Review: Preparatory Notes for Future Masterpieces

"He killed himself because he loved you, because he believed in the world as you see it."

This is but one line of a novel that will change the way any creative looks at what they do, this is a story of wasted potential, of love and loss, of hope and sorrow, and throughout it all, the understanding that we have only the gifts that we have.

It is the story of an unnamed narrator who sought to be creative, who took what chances they could, and spent their life in quiet desperation, never knowing truly what they possessed till it was too late for them to enjoy it. There are notes written in the margins, much like JJ Abrams and Doug Dorst when they came up with S, and these sometimes put the truth, sometimes the lie to the story.

Throughout there are powerful words, that go beyond the telling of the story at hand and into a greater truth, that of creatives everywhere. I loved this, in ways I cannot easily articulate, the narrator is not a lovable character, they are not always honest, nor forthright, nor even good, but those around them give the perspective of what it is to be driven by demons you do not understand, to need to do something even as you don't understand how it is that you do it.

The Illustrations make perfect the story and make clear the scene even more than the writing that accompanies it, and while many think that adding pictures is only done when the prose cannot be relied on, in this book, not only are the illustrations useful for the story, they are necessary.

This story is not an easy read, and for many creatives, will be a harsh light upon which to look at life and how you live it, but it does not need preparatory notes to be a masterpiece.

I don't often hand out five stars, this is worth every one of them.

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