Top critical review
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Good premise, but poorly executed
on May 20, 2007
Overall the book is an interesting idea, but disappointing in its execution.
The objective of this book is to use literature and film as a means of exploring some of the more neglected emotional aspects of personal interaction. The major flaw is the writing style. It is overwhelmingly pretentious, to the point of being almost unreadable. Every chapter reads like a bad college essay in which the author is trying too hard to appear intelligent, using a long word (sometimes incorrectly) when a short one would have been a better fit and more readable, and packing each sentence with as many subclauses and parenthetical distractions as possible.
If you can make it past the bad writing, there is some good content here, but it's hard work, and once you unpack some of the arguments from their obfuscated language, they often turn out to be quite flimsy. This is a shame, because the author certainly seems to have a wide knowledge of literature to draw upon, and the premise of the book is a good one.