Wasp passage test

Novelist Nicholson Baker has written a review of the Kindle — and the iPhone Kindle app — for the New Yorker. Much to my surprise, he prefers the iPhone version:

The problem was not that the screen was in black-and-white; if it had really been black-and-white, that would have been fine. The problem was that the screen was gray. And it wasn’t just gray; it was a greenish, sickly gray. A postmortem gray. The resizable typeface, Monotype Caecilia, appeared as a darker gray. Dark gray on paler greenish gray was the palette of the Amazon Kindle.

This was what they were calling e-paper? This four-by-five window onto an overcast afternoon? Where was paper white, or paper cream? Forget RGB or CMYK. Where were sharp black letters laid out like lacquered chopsticks on a clean tablecloth?

I’m beginning to suspect that e-ink is a bit overrated, and ebooks are going to wind up being another application of our omnipotent jesus-phones.

I really just brought this up because I wanted to plug his first novel, The Mezzanine. Any readers with even a passing interest in industrial design should run and get a copy. Or, you know, just sit there and order it. (note: not available for the Kindle)

July 27th, 2009 by Eric Jacobsen

One Response to “Wasp passage test”

  1. “note: not available for the Kindle”

    Oh, the irony… :-)

    I’ve read good things about Baker’s early books before, so thanks for plugging The Mezzanine. A few years ago I read “A Box of Matches” and really enjoyed it.

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