WHAT TO DO WITH YOUR BAD CAR

AN ACTION MANUAL FOR LEMON OWNERS

With the help of (i.e. based on) letters from 4000 irate owners of a shiny new buggy which is bugged, the authors (Mr. Nader, one of his associates and a lawyer) have itemized what a car should have, raised taillights, or be, white or yellow rather than red or black. And for about the first quarter of the manual they explain various features and parts and why they are inadequate (interestingly enough these gentlemen are against air-conditioning for what it does to the car, rather than for the driver — cf. Fales' Book of Expert Driving — p. 1068). The second part consists of what to do after the trouble starts which consists of beginning with your dealer and ending up writing to the President of the U.S. ("You should not fear that your letter to the President will distract him or his staff from more important concerns") plus all kinds of attention-getting devices. The third section deals with suggested reforms for the industry, and there is a quarter of the book devoted to notes and additional apparatus. All together, there is relatively little material on the car itself and one gets the impression that it's assembled in not too sturdy a fashion, but then the Nader name and consumer-directed good intentions assure a certain market where it will do well.

Pub Date: Nov. 30, 1970

ISBN: 0686365526

Page Count: -

Publisher: Grossman

Review Posted Online: May 22, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1970

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

SEVERAL SHORT SENTENCES ABOUT WRITING

New York Times columnist and editorial board member delivers a slim book for aspiring writers, offering saws and sense, wisdom and waggery, biases and biting sarcasm.

Klinkenborg (Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile, 2006), who’s taught for decades, endeavors to keep things simple in his prose, and he urges other writers to do the same. (Note: He despises abuses of the word as, as he continually reminds readers.) In the early sections, the author ignores traditional paragraphing so that the text resembles a long free-verse poem. He urges readers to use short, clear sentences and to make sure each one is healthy before moving on; notes that it’s acceptable to start sentences with and and but; sees benefits in diagramming sentences; stresses that all writing is revision; periodically blasts the formulaic writing that many (most?) students learn in school; argues that knowing where you’re headed before you begin might be good for a vacation, but not for a piece of writing; and believes that writers must trust readers more, and trust themselves. Most of Klinkenborg’s advice is neither radical nor especially profound (“Turn to the poets. / Learn from them”), and the text suffers from a corrosive fallacy: that if his strategies work for him they will work for all. The final fifth of the text includes some passages from writers he admires (McPhee, Oates, Cheever) and some of his students’ awkward sentences, which he treats analytically but sometimes with a surprising sarcasm that veers near meanness. He includes examples of students’ dangling modifiers, malapropisms, errors of pronoun agreement, wordiness and other mistakes.

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-26634-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

Did you like this book?

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

Did you like this book?

more