It’s A Small Thing
July 15, 2015
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The older I get, the more frustrated I get by the lack of standards of the younger generations. The lack of writing ability. The lack of analytical skills. The lack of interest in spelling and punctuation. The lack of desire to ensure accuracy in the spoken and written word. The reality, to me at least, is that technology is making the human race more and more stupid as we go along. But, you know, it is what it is. Until I buy a book and half way through read the synopsis on the back cover of the book and realize that not even a reputable publisher can get it right.
I just finished The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman. Ms. Hoffman has published 18 novels, had a book featured in Oprah’s book club. She is, in short, a critically acclaimed, traditionally published author. This book was published by Scribner. It’s extremely well-reviewed by a lot of critics. And, here’s what part of the cover synopsis says:
One night Coralie stumbles upon a striking young man taking pictures of moonlit trees in the woods off the Hudson River.
The only problem is this … Coralie stumbled on the “striking young man” while he was grilling a fish over an open fire. There was no picture taking involved. Instead, it was the young man who, some time before, had stumbled on another photographer taking pictures of moonlit trees in the woods that inspired that young man to become the photographer’s protege and pursue a career in photography.
This is the kind of thing that drives me crazy. If the publisher can’t even get it right in the cover synopsis (which is also the Amazon synopsis) of the book and this acclaimed author doesn’t bother to correct the mistake, why should anybody else care about accuracy and integrity. Yeah, it’s a small thing, but, seriously whatever happened to people caring about getting things right.
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As for the book … it was pretty good. I can’t complain about the story or the writing. Although the characters strain the boundaries of credibility at times. There’s a moment or two when they just seem to be caricatures, too extremely drawn to really be based on any kind of reality. But, you know, it is fiction.