“When Miss Emily Grierson died, our whole town went to her funeral…”*

How not to start off a book review? An example, from here:

Once when I was so weak with amebic dysentery that all time not spent on the toilet was passed in bed….

I don’t care how bad the book was (the review was mixed, so it couldn’t have been that bad), I don’t want to read about the reviewer’s digestive woes. TMI, as the kids say. I’m sure it was no idle mistake, either, when the review went on to say that the only book available to him during his convalescence was

one of those storm-tossed but ultimately upbeat women’s romances[.]

Thus not only is the unfortunate reader of this review forced to draw mental connections between the reviewer’s diarrhea and the book being reviewed, but also between same diarrhea and the entire romance genre. Yeah. Way to keep up with the fail there, buddy.

While I’m picking on the NYT, here‘s another winner:

Don’t expect to find amazing ethnic food in Richmond — this is fried okra country, not an immigrant town.

Thus a plant probably imported from West Africa and a key ingredient in Creole cuisine isn’t sufficiently “ethnic” (I’ll ignore the “amazing” qualifier, as that’s purely subjective). Who knew? I also despair the implication that the people forcibly brought to this hemisphere during the 16th-19th centuries weren’t real immigrants. I suppose, in the article writer’s mind, only those who came here willingly qualify for that label.

With each passing year, “the Old Grey Lady” looks more and more like William Faulkner’s Miss Emily.

* From “A Rose for Emily,” by William Faulkner


About Laura

Former single parent adjusting to an empty nest, moving back in with my parents, and returning to the workforce. Student of medieval history, fandom dabbler, and perspiring writer.
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