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Customer Review

on 24 January 2013
I was very disappointed with this book. It reminded me of those self-help books full of little truisms and a lot of padding and 'winnowing the wind'. One adage is 'you only get one chance to make a first impression'. With the first chapter 'The Scientific Method of the Mind' she takes far too long setting out her stall. You feel as if you have paid for a seminar and half the time is spent explaining where the fire exits are, the evacuation procedure and where the coffee will be served. As you would expect she quotes some Holmes-Watson exchanges but then there are long digressions before returning to them. 'What is the point of this and when is she going to get to it?' you wonder.
Her writing style could be improved as well. She apparently writes for the 'Scientific American' and has at least four degrees. First the verbosity: the sentence at the bottom of page 53, for example, has 87 words and this is not unusual. Because of this they are full of sub-clauses and it is hard to extract the meaning from them. She also often uses the conjunction 'and' to start a sentence. Perhaps this is to try and shorten her sentences? But it indicates that it is an addition to the previous sentence and really part of it. As Craig Shrives says in his Grammar Rules: Writing with military precision 'Although it is acceptable to use 'and' or 'but'to start a sentence, this practice should be limited and only used for impact. If you find yourself using them regularly at the start of sentences, you should consider changing the style of your writing.'
The point of being concise and grammatical is that the content is readily understandable to the reader. My impression was, on cutting through all the verbiage, that there wasn't really an awful lot of content: the 'signal to noise ratio' is simply too low.
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