Indigo Sucks. Don’t Read It.

Posted on October 3, 2011

Indigo by Catherine E. MckInley

If you want to become a writer, it’s important to read a lot. You should read a lot of great books. But more importantly, you should read bad books so that you A) know what bad writing is like and B) so you can vow to yourself to never create anything that bad.

Indigo is one of those “more important” books. I picked up Indigo hoping to, you know, learn more about the dye that has literally shaped civilizations. Instead I was subjected to the oftentimes incoherent ramblings of Catherine E. MckInley as she wanders around Africa.

The first thing you become painfully aware of is that MckInley is there on a Fullbright. The word is mentioned at least 3 times and it is alluded to probably once a chapter. You became keenly aware of how much certain cloths cost as a portion of her “junior associate professor” salary. Riveting stuff.

After that, you quickly realize that MckInley is in no way interested in educating you about indigo. At most you learn a little bit about how the corporate pigs at Unilever have degraded quality in favor of profits.

Moving on you come to understand what you are reading: a travelogue/memoir by a young woman who is totally obsessed with indigo. The first 100 pages (of a 230 page book) is about her relationship with a woman that she accidentally meets in Ghana.

I don’t really know what to say about the actual writing in this book except that it’s trying too hard to be florid and interesting. Never try to be interesting. Rarely does she attribute dialogue to whoever is speaking. For a long time, she tries to make her dialogue sound colloquial by adding ‘-o’ to the ends of some words. I’m sure that’s a thing in some places but it did not translate well at all.

I don’t usually say this, and I really try to find the good side of everything, but this book was a waste of my time. And I think it will be a waste of yours. Especially since this is slated to be $27. BUT WAIT! It has color pictures. That’s a small solace compared to the pontifications of a woman who frequently mentions that the cloth she is purchasing is worth more than the annual salary of the average person in the country where she is staying.

That having been said this book may have a place on someone’s bookshelves. If you want to read a crappier version of “Eat, Pray, Love” then Indigo may be for you. If however, you want to read a well-reasoned piece of non-fiction, well you may want to look somewhere else.

Like this book review? I’ve got a whole lot more. Here you go!


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One Response to “Indigo Sucks. Don’t Read It.”

  1. Patrick on October 3rd, 2011 6:12 pm

    I’ve been looking for a crappier version of Eat, Pray, Love, thank you.

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