An easy to read and useful `introduction' to writing. I really liked reading this book even if it took me ages to read. Not clogged with worthless information, it serves a purpose. 80% of the stuff is helpful
Personally I think the title is a misnomer. Anybody who has ever put pen to paper or finger-end to keyboard can benefit from the advice and range of thought-provoking sections contained therein. Obviously writers write more than most so it is very useful addition to those classics e.g Dictionary, Thesaurus, Fowle's English Useage, Brewer's Phrase and Fable, Writers and Artist's Yearbook which are in the toolbox. Also I don't think it is a book to "read" per se. I am quite happy to dip in and out as necessary or when more time is available look through a particular section. Great book.
Brilliant book, which successfully plots that middle course of giving just the right amount of information without resorting to didactic-'don't question it: just learn it' methods. This, in my view, is the key area where this book excels: for it presents you with all the facts, all the rules, all the odd technical words and of course all the exceptions; but then goes one step further by showing you why these things matter and how a good writer would use them to maximum effect. There are lots of engaging examples that demonstrate that even more learned professional writers do make mistakes; and many more that reveal, in detail, some of the wonders of our beautiful language. There is a wonderful example of the delights and dangers of the split infinitive, quoting from Sherlock Holmes, and this little vignette shows how amazing, how beautiful, how powerful and all-encompassing our words can be, when in the hands of someone who can give them life.
One niggle is that I would have liked the format of the book to be a little larger, at least A5, or even bigger, as I think this would display the wonderful text within to greater advantage.
At school I was better at maths than English. Things were not helped in my 'O' level year when our teacher had a penchant for sitting on her desk, her legs projecting forwards, and of course sported really short skirts! My deficiencies were highlighted some years ago in our weekly partners' meeting. One colleague had a habit of rubbishing any suggestion that I made, even when later some were successfully adopted. This was not so much that he didn't like me, but rather that he liked to have the last word. In order to improve my English I took up writing as a hobby and though my efforts are still far from perfect, I find that I can now assemble my point of view, quickly coolly and increasingly with something approaching - dare I say it - gravitas. Much more than this, my letter writing has improved immeasurably and when people approach me for advice I can render it quickly, efficiently and unequivocally. Happily, the whole business of communication: either verbal or written has now become something of a pleasure and I suspect shares something of the appreciation one might have for fine art, sculpture or perhaps, music.
In any event the humble progress that I have made is due to my interest, on-going attempts to be a better writer today than yesterday, and of course fantastic books, just like this one. Highly recommended.