White Sands

I was a huge fan of Dyer’s But Beautiful, an experimental book of criticism and fandom of jazz. And after reading a recent essay on writing, I wanted to dive into more of his books. I started with White Sands.

Forbidden City and White Sands are two of the best stories or chapters in this otherwise unimpressive book. Dyer is a fantastic writer, so there’s enough to hang on to while reading this book, in his sentences and construction of thoughts, that the reader won’t feel entirely bored. But the core message of this book – the value of traveling and experiencing new worlds, especially outer worlds – is a rather anodyne and under excavated message overall.

Dyer, in some ways, is a perfect millennial in this book. He is constantly searching for something better, going into each experience with an idea of how it should be or who he should become on the other side but perpetually coming out unsatisfied. There’s something utterly modern about this. He’s good at writing about it. But even the best written book needs some change or growth in it to be compelling.