Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Poet And The Murderer: Review

by Simon Worrall
I saw this odd little book at a flea market when we were on holidays, and just couldn't resist a tapestry that included Emily Dickinson, Mormonism, fine art auctions and a scientific analysis of hand-writing. Especially not when it was all presented in the context of a true story.
The story itself -- including murder, fraud, the revenge of the librarian -- was what great feel-good movies are made of. And the encyclopaedic research throughout was incomparable. It's like Simon Worrall was on a dare not to miss even the remotest of details. The only real distraction, for me, was the really poor quality of the editing.
Comma errors, semi-colon errors and a typo here or there can be overlooked (this book had them all), I suppose. But Worralls' team also missed repeated words (the the) and even a sentence that occurs in an introductory paragraph and again a page later. I can see the editor missing one thing, but to have both an editor and a proof-reader overlook major errors like that is pretty.
Still, it is a pretty engrossing tale well told. And did I mention that it includes the "incrediblist" Raveen?

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