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Posted: April 24, 2022

I didn’t read this book, I dreamed it

Book Review

By Derryll White

Bowering, George (1977).  A Short Sad Book.

I didnt (sic – you’ll see) read this book. I dreamed it like George Bowering did, a fleeting image here, a broken phrase there. I went to the Ukraine – shot a blazing gun out of Putin’s hand while his fingers lingered on the nuclear holocaust button. Oh, maybe I dreamed it.

I didn’t read this book. I watched Vladimir Putin on TV and worried about climate change. The forest was a flaming tank, burning on the streets of Kyiv.  I didn’t dream this.  It was in the book I didn’t read, paid for by Canada Council. I wasn’t in this war but George was, even older than me with his long revolver tied around his neck by a lanyard.

I was going to write about Jaffray and Wardner before I started not to read this book.  Meanwhile, lost the world melted. I didn’t dream about the Stars and Stripes Forever George.  The Red Crescent got in the way demanding I not read this book.  Far away in Russia they have hand pumps in the garden, wood in the shed and nuclear fallout looming over the chickens.  But George had gas masks in the book I didn’t read.

In Ukraine they don’t say home or back. They say we were driven out and care nothing about Canadian hockey. I found the dream – it wasn’t in the book George.  It was a nightmare people call ‘the world.’

I didnt read this book.  If you do, reader, you will see why I didnt.


Excerpts from the book I didn’t read:

DIRECTIONS – Would you like a picture of the north.  It is just as you imagined it is in the north.

LOST – In the north in Inuvik they told me they get out for a while & then they want to go back into the north.

Now I know, airplanes make it in.

They make it in the north, that is they make it be in the north.

They make it in if the weather is okay.

They make it out the same way.

LOST 2 – Scenery has no beginning & no end.  It has no ending.  It is there everywhere whether you are there moving or still or not, sorry David Hume.

HISTORY – I saw a stand of trees in London, Ontario where Walt Whitman the American had walkt & we lived a block away.

NOVELS – What do you mean, this is no novel.

Novels have a beginning, a middle, & an end.  But scenery doesnt.


But I didn’t read this book!  And Ukraine is fighting back.  We should go there George.

– Derryll White once wrote books but now chooses to read and write about them.  When not reading he writes history for the web at

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