A big thank you to Fog Ink for providing me with a copy of the book to read, it was an emotional and unexpected journey which I’m so glad to have embarked upon and come out of enlightened.
“Skinny Dipping in the Daylight” isn’t what I expected it to be. Even with the summary which was written on Edelweiss it’s safe to say that the true depth and power of the book can only be experienced once you pick it up. The book is a personal memoir, in a sense, of author Cory Basil, mostly consisting of his poetry although the final section of the book is his personal essay-style stories where he talks about encounters which he’s had.
This wasn’t the kind of book which you would sit down with and finish over a cup of tea or a simple mid-afternoon reading hour, no matter how big the cup of tea or if one’s definition of an hour is in fact several. That’s one of its charming points, however, laying in the fact that it’s a book which is filled with honest thoughts, personal pains, and pieces of hope and dreams which should be given time to sink in and leave an impact on you. Which is why I find it so difficult to evaluate.
There were few poems which swept me away with their use of imagery or simile and some which I started reading but, since they were a few pages long, decided to skip because the first couple didn’t capture my attention. At the same time though I was won over by the true honesty of what appeared before me. I enjoyed following Basil’s voice from start to finish and experience a mere glimpse into his life which, from the quality of his voice, must’ve been rich with events and not without pains. I will say that the fiction section, the very last one in the book, was my least favourite. While the poems were much more bite-sized and filled with emotional honesty the personal essays somewhat dragged on and weren’t all that good in maintaining my attention or interest in what was on the page.
I highly doubt this will become the next NY Times bestseller in poetry or win some very prestigious award for innovative style, and that’s not what the book tries to be. This is perfect for a reader who won’t mind treating it like a human being, to give it time during the day and revisit it slowly, several pages at a time, understanding that, just like with a person, there will be emotional ups and downs in the contexts of the poems. It’s a collection permeated with age and wisdom and a sense of loss and continuation which are inspiring and moving. This book will take you on a journey, believe me, and it’s one that will leave you feeling changed and somewhat older once you finish with a bittersweet feeling lingering as soon as you close it, waiting for the next time you come back for another mid-afternoon reading hour with another cup of tea.