The Word Made Flesh by Eva Talmadge: Book Review

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The Word Made Flesh

3 Stars

I pulled this out of its mailer and my husband took one look and said, “Oh, crap. You’re going to have a tattoo soon, aren’t you?” I was a little hesitant to open it for fear of that very thing myself. I don’t have anything against tattoos on other people, they just aren’t for me. Let’s just say that, working in health care, I’ve seen too many wrinkled, formless tattoos on those who never thought they’d grow old. Yeah. Not for me.

But in looking through the tattoos in the book, I can admire the artistry, but many of them really are more Literary than what I normally read. I’ll pick up the classics every now and then, but I typically read for entertainment, not necessarily enlightenment. So the tattoos of Kafka and company don’t mean a whole lot to me.

The tattoos of quotes were interesting, and they did leave me pondering if there’s a quote that means so much to me I would have it permanently etched on my body. Nothing yet, but I’ll keep you posted.

There were more popular tattoos included, such as tattoos for Harry Potter and Twilight, and I at least understood those a little more.

The ones that intrigued me the most were part of a living story. Each person has one word from a short story written by Shelley Jackson specifically for this project tattooed on their body somewhere. The short story isn’t written down in its entirety anywhere. The people who have the tattoos have read the story but no one else ever has or ever will. It sounds so very cool to be part of a living story. Okay, so we live our personal stories daily. I hope you know what I’m trying to say. It would be cool to be part of the canvas for someone else’s written story.

The book was very entertaining to look through, but I can’t say it rocked my world. Those who are more into body art than I am will probably have a different reaction.

Thanks to Harper Perennial for sending me a copy for review.

Take a look inside.

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  1. I am perpetually fascinated by tattoos, but have none (my husband has four). I think if I ever did get one, a literary one would definitely be the way to go. As an English teacher, I love the idea of people being so in love with books they want to permanently celebrate it!

  2. I haven't read this in its entirety, yet, but I had the same reaction to it that you did. A lot of the tattoos were above and beyond my usual reading, but it's still interesting to see what people chose for themselves.

  3. I LOVE tattoos. I just got Kat's tattoo book, from LA Ink.

    I have 4 tattoos and have considered getting the Serenity prayer tatooed.

    I would love to see this book, it would be a great side table book for guests to glance through.

  4. I've been mulling the tattoo idea over for the past few months. And it wouldn't even be a literary tattoo. It would actually be xena's chakram, which is my blogger icon. And maybe something from Strangers in Paradise…it's a hard decision to make. I have a friend who has her entire back covered in one large tattoo featuring three dragons. The fear of pain is sort of making me hesitate though. I don't do so well with pain. Maybe I need to be put under for it or something….One of my coworkers has a connect-the-dots tattoo of a giraffe. It's pretty cool actually.

  5. You know, don't dismiss the tattoo thing out of hand. I never thought I'd do it either – but I did! I was 27, I'm now 36 and I still really love it. I do now wish it were something literary but I am very happy with what it is. I figured after 10 years, my idea of what I'd get and where hadn't changed, so it was time. I will warn you IT HURTS LIKE THE DICKENS!!!! But only while it is happening. I won't be getting a second one, but I'm happy with mine! I had no idea about the Shirley Jackson story – that is amazingly cool!

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