Book Review #18 It was the best of sentences, it was the worst of sentences

This was, surprisingly, a really funny book about grammar that actually taught me something.  The book itself is about how to avoid and correct bad sentences to turn them into great sentences, which alone seems like a boring topic, but Casagrande actually makes the experience enjoyable.  She’s able to make the book humorous enough that you’re able to forget that the book is academic.

Her wit throughout the book is hilarious and really makes the book an easy read.  Casagrande will make up sentences or find examples of the awful sentences she sees in her line of work that are so hilariously awful that you find yourself excited to read the other examples she has.  Such sentences about violent office workers that is muddied by a run on, or one about not needing to do math to add up an amount (which is absurd) are examples of the kinds of light-hearted humor Casagrande puts into her books.

Casagrande is also a master of making her material extremely easy to read, because as a copy-editor, she understands the importance of getting to the point and getting to it fast.  The book is extremely short, and yet there’s such a large amount of information that she was able to pack in there without overwhelming the reader.  This book is exactly what she preaches about writing: concise.

One small issue is that the author has a very strong bias against parenthesis and semi-colons, and is up front with you about her hatred which seems a little strange and unnecessary for the book.  Maybe it was supposed to add to the humor of the book, but I felt like I really didn’t need to know the author’s reasoning for why she thinks semi-colons are for pretentious writers.  The reader could come to their own conclusion of that on his/her own.

Again, the book is relatively small, with short chapters, but you can still walk away after reading it knowing that you learned something and didn’t waste $6.  Grammar may seem intimidating and difficult, but I promise you, Casagrande makes it really fun to learn.

I recommend this book to any writers out there are anyone who needs help with their writing in general.  You will not regret it.


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