Customer Review

5 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More a study of linguistics than memoir, June 7, 2009
This review is from: Dreaming in Hindi (Hardcover)
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I thought I'd love this book when I first settled down with it. The author has a brilliant sense of humor, she writes very well, and the setting is exotic and a place I'm 99.9 % I'll never visit.

The problem is it becomes one long slog to get through if you're not either a professor of linguistics or someone with a raging interest in the topic. My eyes glazed over after a hundred or so pages' worth of information about how we learn language. Parts of it were fascinating,but I'm just not interested enough in it to devote so much time reading about it.

The book was about 100 pp. too long, and too much textbook/not enough memoir. The author's voice, so wonderful in the beginning, converts from a more familiar, interesting style to the didactic voice of a professor very early in the book. And from there on out it was difficult staying with it.

I hoped I'd like it better. But as always, the blurbs failed to mention one needed a more specialized interest in a complex topic in order to truly appreciate this book.

I think mixing memoir with a nonfiction book on the topic of language acquisition was too incongruent for anyone to pull off. This says nothing about the author's writing skills, but more about the judgment of the editor. She's a superb writer; her eyes were just bigger than her stomach in this case.
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