Hi, my name is Jonathon Padgett, I contend that one doesn't necessarily have to follow writing conventions when doing a piece. I shall now do a review of a book I'm reading, please tell me what you think.
Learning To Fly by Victoria Beckam
This was published in 2001 followed by a publication in 2002. This is a curious business, somewhat dynamic. You introduce a book onto the market and watch the sales rise because it's ostensibly highly publicised and promoted due to the high profile nature of the celebrity involved. This happens not withstanding the surfeit of literature in the famous non writing (normally), section of the celebrity world.
So we have a famous name on a raised dais somewhere near you with a book signing to follow presently. Now the people buying the book are questionable in intellect for the most part, possibly readers of the standard press to be polite whilst others have a keener insight and both may well be fans of the personality concerned.
Therefore after a year you may confidentally assert : ' Victoria Beckam's bestselling autobiography.'
Now I don't have a problem with any of this because it turns out she's quite an intelligent, sharp, very funny girl. Quite contrary to the Press/Media image. Suprise, suprise. Futhermore she writes a good book and has no need of a ghost writer - this would diminish her unique style which is fast, on the wing, natural and spontaneous. It also demonstrates that you don't have to have a great knowledge of words or vocabulary to be eloquent, engaging, compelling and entertaining.
One of the problems with autobiographies is the inevitable reference to personalities you loved who might not be quite as keen to have the whole world know about them as the author is for you to be known. Victoria eludes this trap effortlessly in her sleep. It's done quick - fire, matter- of- factly, and dismissed in an instant and she has the ability not to make it too personal or intense, it's introduced into the world of everyday speech and is over with in a flash. The book is put down, the character's forgotten and we've all moved on.
For whatever reason Vicky has chosen to write this book it dispels a few illusions about her and tells us that she is perfectly competent in several areas and not just part of a manufactured bimbo girl band who incidentally wrote their own songs (words and music) and made some good songs too.
Yes she's a star and she's hoping to escape this crazy fame business which spawns the media monster. If anybody can do it, she can.
You're right, it's not a typical book review, but I like your casual, slightly sardonic style. I feel, after reading it, that I know more about the author than I do about her book; if you intended that result, then I'd say your piece has achieved its goal. After all, it is an autobiography.
One thing I find myself saying a lot, when I give input on others' writing, is to remember your target audience. Since you're in the UK, it's probably not necessary to explain who Victoria Beckham is, especially if your readers will tend to be under 40. I, on the other hand, am neither, and had to look her up. ("Oh! Posh Spice!") Just something to keep in mind, depending on the use to which your review will be put.
A couple of technical things I noted:
"This was published in 2001 followed by a publication in 2002." This is a little confusing; do you mean the same book was reprinted? That the first run was so successful they did another?
"notwithstanding" is one word.
"Suprise, suprise" - did you mean "surprise" or were you affecting a southern U.S. accent, a la Gomer Pyle? (If you have to ask "who?" then it's probably the former.)
When hyphenating words like "quick-fire" don't leave spaces in between.
"bimbo girl band who incidentally wrote their own songs" -- did they write their songs incidentally? Or did you mean "who, incidentally, wrote their own songs . . ."?
I enjoyed reading your review and hope this input was helpful!
Thanks for your reply to my submission. I am from this point on only too well aware of grammatical and punctuationary requirements. I must say that I'm aware of my various technical errors but have reasons for so commiting. But you must be aware ( that is you need to be aware ) that in this country (UK), our sense of grammer and of good English is not great and that's at the highest academic level where they would rather you thought the way that they, the academic establishment think and are able to put together really clever, meaningless phrases such as ' cultural building blocks ' if doing a History thesis for example.
Tell me, are you an academic yourself and how did you get onto the forum and is it ostensibly an American site ?
I'm a professional academic researcher and editor and a co-author/editor of this website, which is how I came to be on the forum. This is an American website, although we do get questions from students who are in other countries.
Thanks for visiting!
Thanks for your time and efforts,