- Paperback: 345 pages
- Publisher: Elsevier Science (26 December 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0395393914
- ISBN-13: 978-0395393918
- Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 1.5 x 23.5 cm
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,01,159 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Line By Line Paperback – Import, 26 Dec 2007
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About the Author
After earning her M.A. in English literature, Claire Kehrwald Cook taught English Composition fro three years at a midwestern university before she went into publishing. For the next eight years she worked for a major book company, rewriting problem manuscripts in the trade, business, and college departments. Since 1976 she has worked at the Modern Language Association, where she enjoys styling literary essays considered worthy of painstaking editorial efforts.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The author does not appear to give herself permission to really rewrite and edit her own examples. Many of the suggested corrections look like they were constrained to maintain sentence structure rather than be edited correctly. Within the first 20 pages of the book, we have "corrected" examples like the following...
"In his classical period Goethe was so taken with the concept of a single ideal of beauty that..."
"The boy that had chased the big dog before attacked him with the stick."
I thought perhaps I was being overly critical and asked other writers on a webmaster forum what they thought of those two sentences. Some agreed the sentences were generally socially acceptable but most agreed they were poorly constructed.
The grammar expert of our group, not me by any means, quickly jumped on both sentences. She called them both awful. Her frustration at books like this one showed in her rewrite of the second sentence.
She suggested that the first one should have been changed to something like: "During his classical period, Goethe was so taken with the concept of a single ideal of beauty that he blah."
The second one has an obvious pronoun/antecedent problem. Her suggested rewrite was: "The boy chased a big dog and then attacked him with the damn stick."
Before anyone goes there, the grammarian I consulted has not published a book and I have no suggestions for an alternative to this one.
I suppose the author did the best she could when editing the writing of others. Author's egos must be stroked and an editor doesn't want to insert themselves into the work. However, this was supposed to be a book about editing your own writing. When the examples of corrected writing are poorly constructed and even grammatically incorrect, it would seem the advice given offers little value.
I would not recommend this book.
And, by the way, to the folks who attacked the other negative review...in some parts of the world, they use advise instead of advice just like they use colour instead of color.
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