Most helpful critical review
56 of 62 people found the following review helpful
very entertaining but not particularly helpful
on 23 November 2009
I found this book extremely entertaining, and it would pass a couple of amusing hours for anyone, wannabe writer or not. I laughed out loud at points, and it certainly does stand out from all the other writing help guides out there.
However, the most notable way it stands out is by not being particularly helpful. There are some useful pointers in here; however, it mainly gives the impression of being an opportunity for the authors to vent some anger towards hopeless writers. The style is condescending, smug and mocking. The fact is, however, that the hopeless writers at whom this book is clearly aimed would have no use for it: they will never be successful, no matter what. Those writers who stand a fighting chance - who have basic ability but need some help - are the ones that benefit from writing guides and this book is not for them. The examples are so clearly ludicrous, and many of the pointers so blatantly obvious, that if you don't already know them you should stay away from fiction at all costs. Therefore the authors have defeated their own objective. They manage to poke fun at, and alienate, the very audience they're trying to sell to.
I think there is a lot of value to this book. However, it should be rebranded in the 'humour' section, as it is definitely an entertaining read rather than a helpful guide to novel writing.