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[Book Review] The Consolation of the Shoes by Manolo the Shoeblogger

But it is at least publicly so. Most book reviews are written by people who seek to a. promote their own books, b. promote themselves, c. reward friends, d. punish enemies, e. earn a paltry sum of money or f. several or all of the preceding categories at once.

In this case it is only “c” (with a possible soupçon of “b”) – so it is, as The Manolo himself might say, perhaps not so bad.

Therefore, to save you from further expenditure of your precious time by reading the rest of this review – buy this book or, more exactly, pamphlet The Consolation of The Shoes by Manolo the Shoeblogger. It is indispensable reading, stunningly witty and hugely informative.

But don’t trust me (and at this point you won’t), trust Prof. Dr. Boethius P. Korncrake, Chair of Medieval Semiotics, Institut für Eurpäische Spielwissenschaft und Freizeistforschung, who writes in his introduction to the pamphlet: “The Manolo you will encounter here will surprise you with his perspicacity and persistence and delight you with his ready wit and powerful charm.”

Indeed, as another Internet Original often says. The Manolo – as many of us know – is also an Internet Original. I first encountered his writing a few years ago when I had just started blogging (calming down here, no more jokes, so you can again just quit reading and buy the pamphlet). What attracted me was something unique – a blogger with an obviously adopted persona whose writing satisfied on the multiple levels you only find in the best ironic novelists. The Manolo, on his blog, could teach us style and decorum, observe our culture, sell shoes and be funny all at the same time. It was a tap dance he continued to carry off, to my amazement, from week to week. I wondered if he could expand this into longer forms.

Now I know. The Consolation of The Shoes is an attempt to explain The Manolo without explaining him, if you know what I mean, and it succeeds brilliantly. Yet somehow, beneath all the obfuscations and stratagems, truth emerges. And perhaps that is the point. We learn much of the character and development of The Manolo, about his allegiance to Lady Fashion, and the answer to one of the greatest of all imponderables – equal to, if not exceeding, the conundrum of one hand clapping … “What, then, oh mortal men, do you seek happiness outside that which lies within your shoes?”

So what are you waiting for?

Pajamas CEO Roger L. Simon’s favorite shoes are Pumas.