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J. Svoboda (South Africa)

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Bryson's Dictionary: for Writers and Editors
Bryson's Dictionary: for Writers and Editors
by Bill Bryson
Edition: Hardcover

13 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Loss of trust, 16 April 2009
I was able to put my hands on this book (2008 edition) only after I had hoarded about six of Bryson's books and also had developed liking for his curious observational gift. However, after perusing this publication, I lost most of my trust in his jumbo interpretative self-confidence. A lot of criticism has been presented in previous reviews. I would only like to express my dismay at Bryson's chaotic perception of priorities. For instance, apparent Bryson's interest in tennis is illustrated by inclusion of a plethora of fly-by-night Russian tennis players, and by a failure to include such a superstar (spelling-wise and achievement-wise) like Navratilova. In addition, misinformation, particularly concerning nationalities of various entrants, is too plentiful to mention.
What, however, rocked my confidence completely was Bryson's claim that Pilsener is "a German beer". A person who does not know that Pilsener, the king of lagers, is a beer brewed in Pilsen, a city in Bohemia, today Czech Republic, is not entitled to write books like "A theory of anything". It's like saying that champagne is a sparkling wine made in Spain. It's really disappointing, Mr. Bryson.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 17, 2011 9:55 AM GMT

New Europe
New Europe
by Michael Palin
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £20.00

10 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't judge the book by its cover, 5 Mar. 2008
This review is from: New Europe (Hardcover)
This book is a proof of this old adage. The presentation of the book is very attractive: quality paper and print, nice binding. The contents of the publication are, on the other hand, very disappointing. While the author travels through a collection of widely diverse countries that have often very little in common, he offers, in a very pedestrian and tedious manner, no unifying view of this part of the world, no meaningful analysis of why these countries fall under "New Europe". Author's apparently very shallow knowledge of the realities of these countries is testified by a plethora of factual errors and misleading statements, to the point that one frequently feels an urge to throw the book in a dustbin. Certainly Palin is not Paul Theraux to write an absorbing travel book, and he is also not a Lonely Planet to provide useful and accurate information on travel. One wonders why this book was actually written. The most plausible explanation appears to be the author's jumbo ego. He apparently wanted to build a momumental testament to his massive narcissism. There are 278 photographs in the book, and the author apears on 155 of them. Palin with a blond, Palin with a brunette, Palin with aristocrats, Palin with leeches, Palin on a bike, Palin on a tractor, Palin everywhere, ad nauseam. If you feel like looking incessantly at his face and read a shallow boring description of the world he failed to understand, buy the book. I would gladly donate my copy.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 3, 2008 8:19 AM GMT

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