Expecting to like this book even more than, in fact, this reader ended up doing so, there is, for all that, no denying the work's value and importance. Anthony Mayfield is a vital and intrepid young investigator of Canada's and the world's precarious economic, political, and ecological situation. His current YouTube channel, bearing the name of the title proper of this book, is one of the better ones on the Internet. Best of all, he is a thinker and writer who analyses matters according to his own sound instincts and his findings, according to where the evidence in his probing research leads.
Therefore, the messages that Mayfield conveys in this tome are of great value and, often, of considerable originality. He has not let his university studies in economics blind him to reality, which, alas, is about all to which study in that academic field leads for lesser minds than his own. To have a figure like this in our Dominion of Canada is nearly providential, there having been too few among his elders to have had the courage and intellectual rigour to reason so clearly as Mayfield does and to make the often scalding revelations that abound in Mayfield's book and in his YouTube videos. Since many other reviews, surely and rightly, will seek to impart some of the book's content, in this assessment of the book the focus is on other aspects of what Mayfield has written.
The main problem with the book lies in Anthony Mayfield's woefully substandard writing style. He organises his material well, for the most part, although at times the writing and pace become a bit flaccid, before he picks things up again after such passages. Mayfield expresses himself forcefully and eloquently, too, despite his constant literary lapses. However, Mayfield's substandard grasp of style and of English grammar do much to sabotage what he so importantly has to convey. The book has a crying need for the hand of an editor who can shape its sentences and paragraphs into better form, to purge them of the many grammatical and stylistic gaffs that undermine the potential effectiveness of what Mayfield's prose has to say. There are seemingly endless flaws, for example, in the correct agreement of verbs and subjects, of singular and plural pronouns and conjugations, of grammatical referents, and suchlike basic issues of good writing, which makes both wording and meaning in "On the Brink" less precise than it ought to be, thereby also blunting the work's potentially maximal effect.
All of that said, such flaws in Mayfield's writing are those from which many other writers suffer, too, today, as standards in teaching English have been sagging in high school, college, and university education. A small example of stylistic (rather than grammatical) blemish, of which many others abound, in Mayfield's writing is the excessive resort to the word "extreme" (also, of course, "extremely" and other derivatives of this word), as if Mayfield has no idea of what other words to use for more or less the same meaning; eventually Mayfield undermines the potential force of such a word by resorting to it so frequently, sometimes even twice in a sentence here or there. A good editor would have recast sentences with like kinds of various grammatical and stylistic faults in which Mayfield's prose so abounds.
There are other writers, of course, who have much to say but who likewise suffer from the kind of substandard English which afflicts so much of Mayfield's writing. A much worse example of this phenomenon than Mayfield's own book, one that is of almost childishly horrendous scale, is the verbal slop that runs rampant in Jeffrey Grupp's otherwise frequently brilliant book, "Corporatism" (2nd ed., rev.; Progressive Press, 2009). Grupp's judgment and sense of proportion are inferior to Mayfield's and Grupp's prose is at times ugly, crude, and deplorably defective to a degree that goes away beyond the problems that Mayfield, for his part, has with the English language. Authors who have as much to say that is of crucial value to readers and citizens today, as Mayfield and Grupp certainly do, really should not allow lackluster or downrightly dreadful English so to mar their written texts.
What is stated here should not discourage sales of Anthony Mayfield's important book. It amply informs the reader of too much that the major media, printed or audio-visual, conceal from public knowledge. By all means, readers should acquire this important work by Anthony Mayfield, even while, hopefully, that young author may seek to improve his writing skills, or, short of that, to engage an editor's help. Get this book, either in E-book (Kindle) form or as Mayfield has self-published it more recently in paperback (211 p.; ISBN 978-0-9881663-0-1), read it, absorb its important information! Canada, more slowly but also surely, is teetering dangerously "on the brink" of economic and other disaster over which so many nations already have toppled.