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After Virtue (Bloomsbury Revelations)
After Virtue (Bloomsbury Revelations)
by Alasdair MacIntyre
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.87

53 of 55 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Exam-pie, 23 May 2013
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This book is full, and I mean completely and utterly loaded, with typographical errors. Often two or three in a paragraph. Sometimes two in a sentence. Throughout the entire book. It is clear that what bloomsbury have done is just to scan the original, slap a new cover on it and give it a hip and unusual font and then throw it on the shelves without double-checking the contents first. I know that this is what they've done because I have the original, that I've taken out from my university's library, and I've been comparing the two. The most commonly occurring typo is just a random hyphen left in the middle of unhyphenated words for no obvious reason. So "incomplete" inexplicably becomes "in-complete." I had an inkling as to why this was happening so I checked the original to see if I was right and, lo and behold, I was. The original text often cuts words in half and moves half the word to the next line, which of course is fine. But for the new book all the words were moved without being edited, so the hyphens remain, but now they just make no sense. And there are other typos as well. A (really) common one I've found is the word "and" being changed to "arid," and you can sort of see the logic as to why the software might have made that mistake. My favourite so far has been "exam-pie" which, after consulting the original text (of course), turns out actually to be "example." That makes two typos IN ONE WORD! Have you ever heard of a book that was so full of typos that you had to have a different edition of the same book to hand just to read the original? I would just read straight from the original copy I have if it wasn't falling apart.

Why is this such a problem? Well, for two reasons. Firstly, at £15 the book isn't cheap. It is less expensive than the other editions that can be found on Amazon, but given that it's just a badly photocopied version of the original you sort of have to wonder what could justify that price-tag. Secondly (and more importantly), this isn't a Dan Brown novel, this is a book about virtue ethics. Precision in language is absolutely crucial to understanding what MacIntyre's trying to convey. It's not easy at the best of times, and the fact that there are so many typos makes you question whether what you're reading is what MacIntyre is actually trying to communicate.

This book is so important, what a shame the publisher ruined it to save a bit of cash. I never ever review books on Amazon, but in this case I really felt that I had to let people know what they were buying.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 6, 2013 10:28 PM BST


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