2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Interesting but exasperating,
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Arctic Glass: Six Years of Adventure in Alaska and Beyond (Kindle Edition)
I found “Arctic Glass” an exasperating book to read because of the hundreds of errors it contains (I stopped recording them after noting 223). Not exactly “Six Years of Adventure in Alaska and Beyond” but rather an anthology of several discrete adventures spread over a period of six years, the journeys recorded in “Arctic Glass” are interesting and Homer has a pleasing underlying style of writing marred only by the inexcusable mistakes of a sometime newspaper editor with a degree in journalism.
Homer adopts all the shortcomings found in much of contemporary American writing, for example by assuming that all her readers are totally familiar with all aspects of American life and by using adjectives as nouns and nouns as verbs but then, both in style and terminology, adds several defects of her own. Repeatedly, she gives the impression of having picked up a word which she likes but with the meaning or usage of which she is not wholly conversant. Merely as three of many examples, she consistently uses the word “odometer” (a device for recording distance travelled) to refer to her speedometer, which is an entirely different instrument; mistakenly uses “relishes in” as a replacement for “revels in” and describes pitching or setting up camp as “breaking camp”. Of more concern are Homer’s use of inappropriate tenses and voices; her inability to differentiate between subject and object pronouns, adjectives and adverbs or transitive and intransitive verbs and an apparent unfamiliarity with the subjunctive. Even if such solecisms are overlooked, the many sentences which do not make sense, which omit necessary words or include unnecessary words all detract from her accounts and should have been corrected by adequate proof-reading before publication.
In terms of content, I found myself equally exasperated by Homer’s, acknowledged, lack of planning both before and during her trips, resulting in her constantly pushing herself to the point of exhaustion; her self-inflicted “accidents”, which she also acknowledges; her reliance on junk food and her not infrequent over-dramatic descriptions. She is never “thirsty”, always “dehydrated”; rarely “cold” but suffering from incipient “hypothermia”. Despite her claims to be looking for her “inner self”, perhaps such descriptions, or the deliberate understatement which some comparable authors prefer, are acceptable in what are essentially attention-seeking activities.
Despite these strictures, “Arctic Glass” was well worth reading, if only to compare Homer’s adventures with the comparable experiences of others, including myself, “in Alaska and Beyond”. “Arctic Glass” could have been a much better book. Although her probable motivation is understandable, by choosing to publish it herself without adequate preparation, Homer has done herself an injustice from which it is hoped she will learn.