Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Bill Bryson Needs a Better Editor

I just finished reading Bill Bryson’s book Shakespeare: The World as Stage.

Good, but poorly edited. I know: an odd thing to notice about a book. I don’t think I’ve ever noted it about a book before with possible exceptions of Harry Potter V and the Lord of the Rings novels.

But facts will sometimes appear in the book twice in just a span of a few pages. Entire sentences appear almost word-for-word in adjoining chapters. I don’t necessarily hold these things against the author. He may have written these various pages and chapters at vastly different times and not been aware of their proximity in the finished text, but someone should have noted it. I wonder if Bill Bryson doesn’t get edited anymore because he’s Bill Bryson, or if the book was just thrown together without much care.

Otherwise, the book is quite good. Some sections are better than others, but on the whole it’s a wealth of interesting trivia and facts about the Bard. I even started to develop an image in my head of what Shakespeare may have been like as a person.

1 comment:

  1. I HATEHATEHATE with a burning passion bad editing. On the other hand, the quickly sinking ship that is daily newspapers doesn't have a whole lot of cash to spend on good editors, good line editors, or good reporters.


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