LITERATURE

Montaigne in Barn Boots: An Amateur Ambles Through Philosophy

Harper. Nov. 2017. 240p. bibliog. ISBN 9780062230560. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062230584. MEMOIR
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OrangeReviewStarThis warm and humorous memoir by New York Times writer Perry gives us a crash course in the life and ideas of Renaissance philosopher Michel de Montaigne (1533–92). Montaigne's thinking was famously flexible, and he seemingly wrote about everything. Here, Perry takes us through Montaigne's, and his own, thoughts on sex, marriage, forgetfulness, kidney stones, religion, and a number of other matters. The author shares with his subject a congenital humility, combined with an openness to new ideas and ways of thinking. Readers will laugh out loud frequently while taking in this very funny memoir, as this reviewer did, yet it's a profound laughter, the kind that gets you thinking.
VERDICT One couldn't hope for a better introduction to the work of Perry or Montaigne. [See "Families & Addiction, Philosophers, Two Debuts, & Joyce Maynard"; ow.ly/X70F30fkmkA.]

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