by Fábio de Oliveira Ribeiro Saturday, Jun. 19, 2010 at 3:15 PM

A necessary reading.

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Jean-Claude Carrière, Jean-Philippe de Tonnac and Uberto Eco's book, cannot be specified. How to summarize the infinity of precious and unnecessary information that they almost populate all of the pages of the work. What criterion to use to select the main ideas of a book that it treats of books, of internet, of history, of literature and of much more?

DON'T COUNT WITH THE END OF THE BOOK treats of books that exist, of books that never existed, of books that don't need to be read and of books that unfortunately cannot read because they stopped existing. It takes care of known and forgotten writers, of lucky and maniac collectors, of men that founded and that they burned libraries.

The book is a dialogue more or less disorganized between Eco and Carrière, mediated by Tonnac with plenty of elegance. When the titans of the literature and of the movies they stray of the theme, Tonnac puts back them in the rails with a specialist's peacefulness in men and books.

The work treats of the books and of the readers, of the enemies of the books, of the hopes and the collectors' misfortunes, of the bookbinders, of true men that are considered characters by some and of characters that others believe that they really existed. For the three, the book and the wheel they are inventions that cannot be gotten better. They cannot be gotten better nor for the internet, convict to live together with the book as much as the lighter is condemned to live together with the match. When Eco and Carrière criticize in way more or less theoretical the internet and the computers, it is impossible not to laugh of the journalists that make the immoderate apology of the virtual world.

The book and the wheel cannot be gotten better, but they can be worsened. And the authors show that the book certainly was it, not for the form and yes for the content. However, DON'T COUNT WITH THE END OF THE BOOK is quite democratic. Mediocre books and intolerant readers seem not to inconvenience ECo and Carrière. Along the most entertaining pages of the work both make the praise of the mistake, of the absurdity and of the prejudice that they populate the pages of the books and that they depopulated libraries. They make a fair tribute to the book as worthy object of being at collected least and, in that sense, even a bad book is a book.

The reading is pleasant because this book-conversation is going capturing the reader's attention slowly. The surprises are many and the ironies the one that the books, writers and readers are subject seem to be inexhaustible as the repertoire of histories that Eco and Carrière have to narrate. The episode involving the Brazilian collector of books José Mindlin, counted in the work, it is exemplary.

Mindlin was Europe to buy a rare edition of a Brazilian author, he paid a small fortune for the book and he forgot it in the airplane when it disembarked in Brazil. In the case of Mindlin the adventure of the hunt to the literary treasure seems it was more interesting than the acquired object (and forgotten in the accent of an airplane as any book). The object produced by Eco, Carrière and Tonnac, published in Brazil by Record, it also provides a wonderful adventure for the history of the books, of the writers, of the collectors and readers. But who begins to read they DON'T COUNT WITH THE END OF THE BOOK certainly it won't forget this book in the armchair of a bus, train or airplane. The book is amused and too interesting to be lost before the last sentence.