Book Reviews

Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss

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List Price: £8.99


Paperback: 224 Pages.

Published: 01 October 2009 by HarperCollins

ISBN: 9780007329069

EAN: 9780007329069

Everyone knows the basics of punctuation, surely? Aren't we all taught at school how to use full stops, commas and question marks? And yet we see ignorance and indifference everywhere. "Its Summer!" says a sign that cries out for an apostrophe. "ANTIQUE,S," says another, bizarrely. "Pansy's ready", we learn to our considerable interest ("Is she?"), as we browse among the bedding plants.

In Eats, Shoots & Leaves, Lynne Truss dares to say that, with our system of punctuation patently endangered, it is time to look at our commas and semicolons and see them for the wonderful and necessary things they are. If there are only pedants left who care, then so be it. "Sticklers unite" is her rallying cry. "You have nothing to lose but your sense of proportion--and arguably you didn't have much of that to begin with."


3.0 Stars3.0 Stars3.0 Stars  by Sara Eames

Annoying in parts

It is not often that I abandon fiction for non-fiction, but, occasionally, I can be tempted away by a book that captures my interest.  As I am often referred to as a "grammar freak" by my family and friends, this appeared to be such a book.  However, although it did bring a wry smile to my face on the odd page, this book was not as good as it first appeared to be.  The main problem for me was that Lynne Truss can come across as patronising and somewhat obnoxious in her manner at times.  Also, the book was quite dull in places - although I assume that not many people would expect a fascinating discourse on apostrophes, commas, parentheses and the like - but, really, could she not have made it sound interesting?  Some of it was fascinating and I feel I learned something from this book.  So, on the whole, not a bad book - but not one of the best I have read this year.

5.0 Stars5.0 Stars5.0 Stars5.0 Stars5.0 Stars  by Anne

A classic book of punctuation

If you shudder at the misuse of "its" and "it's", are alarmed at the increasing use of apostrophes in plurals and have to pass greengrocers' shops with averted eyes then this book is written for you. In this very funny book the author sets out the problem with the misuse of punctuation in the modern world, gives lots of examples of possible misunderstandings and issues a rallying call to pedants everywhere.

This is a fascinating book, full of interesting nuggets of punctuation history and written in an amusing and snappy style. It was very difficult to put down and I found myself laughing out loud a lot as I read it and looking for people with whom to share the author's wisdom and common sense. A classic.

Warning, if you do not go green and shaky in the supermarket when you see signs which say "10 items or less" then this may not be the book for you !

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