Customer Review

1.0 out of 5 stars Where WERE the editor and the proof reader ?, 11 Dec. 2012
This review is from: The Life and Times of the Motown Stars: Featuring the Stars, Producers, Writers, Backing Singers, Musicians, Arrangers, Managers and Promotional Personnel: : 1 (Paperback)
This book could have been and should have been a reference book par excellence. Indeed, nothing would have been more pleasurable than to give this book a glowing commendation. However, this book is littered with so many typographical errors, too many commas - and not enough full stops and too much repetition as to render this virtually unreadable. Never mind the blatant inaccuracies within, there are really far too many to mention. Indeed, it was very heavy going!

In the interests of readers of this review I will add that at 500 pages plus and of paper quality weighing in at (an approximate) grading of 130g, this reviewer found it just not 'heavy going' to read but also to hold without aching arms! If only an editor and a proof reader had been engaged, I suggest that it could have been 'red-inked' by about 200 pages!

My main criticism however, would have to be the grammatical quality of the sentences - they are virtually illegible and written by someone with an extremely poor command of his or her own language. It would appear that the author has simply acquired lots of unreliable research notes copied and pasted from various internet sources, jumbled them all up and repeated them, at times, ad nauseum, without any system of editing - (and just as importantly, checking the reference sources).

As an example, not only does the reader get the story of The Temptations once, they get it again in all the individual members of the group from Otis Williams, David Ruffin, Eddie Kendricks et al. The same applies to The Four Tops, The Supremes, The Jackson Five, The Commodores et al.

In a review of Barbara Randolph the author states (verbatim) that "Barbara sadly died from cancer in 2002 in South Africa. Barbara's husband Eddie Singleton died about ten years after her." - (which would have been in 2012 - my note)

As this book was published in 2009 you can see the obvious here, can't you?

With a similar review of Jermaine Jackson the author states that "Jermaine has been married three times" - he then goes on to list his three wives and children borne from each of these marriages. He continues, "All three marriages ended in divorce. Since 2004 he has been married to Haleema Rasheed... "

Once again, you can see the obvious here, can't you?

The author constantly uses phrases such as, "he did record" instead of "he recorded", which really grated on me, I'm afraid.

Just one more. The author opines that Marvin Gaye's "What's Goin' On" is one of his favourite albums of all time and in Chapter Two, he sets out some of the major events in Motown's history in chronological order and in this he states that (in 1971)... "Marvin Gaye is given creative control of his recordings and the first fruits is the "What's Goin' On" album for which he wrote, produced, sang and played most of the instruments."

Excuse me ? This album was the first album in Motown's history where any musician gets a credit on the album sleeve (against the wishes of Gordy) ..... and there were many credited musicians . . . .even one Marvin Gaye, credited for playing piano (and piano only).

Moreover, Gordy did not like what Gaye had produced and refused to release it - period. He refused to accept that it was a product that would sell in the great tradition of Motown, that is, in vast quantities. It was only because DJ's picked up on the title track, gave it airplay and compelled Gordy to change his stance. It was only then that Gaye was accorded artistic control of his subsequent output.

As I mentioned elsewhere, this is the kind of dud information that does the book a great disservice. I could go on with the litany of errors, whether typographical, grammatical or inaccuracies but, I think the reader has read enough of the minor ones listed by me and read enough of me by now.

It's clear, the author is a huge fan of Motown and this is obviously a labour of love but, if there is ever a re-print of this may I suggest that another writer is engaged to put every sentence into some legible construction, along with a proof reader and an editor to do justice to the Motown Story.

To be brutally honest, I wouldn't want to have any association with this book in its current form. It should have been pulped and started again with a co-author. Needs an urgent re-write.
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