Top critical review
208 editorial/proofreading errors/issues
4 March 2017
This book contains 208 errors of spelling, grammar, syntax, punctuation and page formatting. The errors start on the very first prelim page – “Haydn is an active a member of” – and conclude on the penultimate page of the book where the publisher is incorrectly called “Silverwood”.
The errors come thick and fast, with 16 in the first 30 pages: “switched he torch back on” (p25) and “the roar an whine” (p28), for example. Then we read that Tolstoy “idealised the simple pleasant” (> peasant; p53), and of “the ruins of workers’s homes” (p229). A woman’s knickers four lines later become “kickers” (p243), and people “trippied over carts” (p348).
Questions end without question marks. Dialogue ends without closing speech marks. There is a complete lack of understanding about how to use the hyphen attributively. Proper names are incorrect (“Lyon’s Corner House”, “Anthony Beevor”, “Franz Lehar”). The historian referred to as ‘Gribben’ (p281) is in fact (Edward) Gibbon. Comrade “Voznesenski” (p279) a few lines later becomes “Voznesensky”. “Volksdeutsche” appears incorrectly as “Volksdeutche” all the way through. Apart from “Führer” and “Volkssturm”, which are correct with initial upper case, German nouns are defiantly almost always rendered incorrectly as lower-cased (“blut und ehre”, “soldbuch”, “panzerfaust”). In other instances there is random unnecessary capitalisation, so that one reads of “a Synagogue” and “a whiff of Eau de Cologne”, but also of “communists”, “fascists” and “slavic” people. It’s as if no editorial system has been put in place, although the credited copy-editor, Alison Jack, is described by the author as “meticulous” (p471).
It’s a great shame for the author that he could not engage a decent editor or proofreader – or indeed publisher, who would have overseen the text editorially. A list of all 208 corrections is available on request.
Thanks to the excellent Lightning Source, the book is extremely well printed and bound.