Antique Clouds by Jason Murk

To buy the book on Amazon, click on the link.

Okay, I am in love with this book.  I happened by it when I was looking for Edwardian era stories while on Kindle.  I look up a story by Jason Murk and I see Antique Clouds.  All his work on Kindle costs 80 cents.  Not bad.  Anyway, I read other reviews that rave about his prose, and he lives up to the hype.  The book, or essay depending on which website you visit, talks about early photography and clouds.  By early photography, I mean the daguerreotype and the ambrotype.  He also provides some quick info about these cameras.  If you want writing that sweeps you off your feet, buy this.  Since Murk acts as president of American Society of Cloud Enthusiasts, he also talks about the history of clouds and their role in major events.  Weather does influence events in history.  He even devotes space to Native American lore and the writers who loved them.  On photography, he highlights photographers such as Civil War photographer Matthew Brady.  Lastly, Murk emphasizes the risks that early photographers took when inhaling the chemicals while taking and creating these photographs.  In short, the side effects gave them some rather quirky personalities.

 On the negative side, his writing does feel a little flighty and spacey at times.  The Native American lore part takes great emphasis, especially since this group comes from New Mexico.  Plus, I think Murk verged on reaching with some of his speculations, and if you want citations from him, he gives none.  Furthermore, he left me disappointed in his use of vocabulary such as “poop.”  He writes so wonderfully, and then that word shows up killing the mood I feel when reading.  Finally, if you read this from a Kindle, you will not enjoy the color found in the photographs that Jason Murk waxes so beautifully about.  However, the lack of color does not take away from the photographs’ quality.  All in all, I enjoyed this insightful and extremely funny book.

ETA: I decided to rewrite this review.

ETA: Revamped a link and rewrote some sentences.

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