Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Review: A Thousand Lies by D.W. St. John ★

A Thousand Lies This is the last of the catch-up "For Review" reviews. I was not in the best of moods after reading this book, and I was very underwhelmed by it. I'd hoped for something insightful and informative - this book was just a bunch of jaded opinions presented as fact. Skip this one. You won't regret missing it. On to the review...

I won this as a First Reads giveaway, and I was really excited to read it. I consider myself to be a forward thinking, open minded sort, and the thought of reading the "lies" that Americans must tell themselves in order to be "Good" Americans was interesting to me. I was interested in this because I was hoping that it would lend a little insight into the lies, a little background, a little justification.

This book provided none of that.

Now, before I go on into just what annoyed me about this book, if it can indeed be called that, as it is really more of a pamphlet, I would like to say that I am not rating this low because I disagree with many of the statements. This is not a knee-jerk 1 star.

This is a 1 star rating because it is an amateurish, poorly edited, poorly thought-out pamphlet full of statements with no context or explanation or supporting information at all.

It's like saying "Drunk drivers never kill innocent people." Sure, that's not a 100% true statement, but that doesn't mean it can never be true. It's just a statement. And without information to support it, it's transparent.

I had to read this book as if it was opposite day, and with every statement I asked myself "What is St. John trying to say?", and I could not tell you. There's no feeling of the author in this book, unless it's supposed to come through in the jaded sarcasm that just about drips off the page. It feels more like he sent out a survey to 1000 angry people, asked them to write down one thing that makes them angry, and then he compiled it into this book pamphlet and sent it to publish. This book pamphlet is supposed to "offend everybody", but I get the feeling that particular statement, along with many many others found within, is just something edgy to say.

Not to mention that this was riddled with spelling and grammatical errors. I had to read some of the statements three times before I could grasp what he was actually trying to say, because the sentence structure was so unweildy in some cases.

I can't recommend this one. If it had been better presented, and if it felt less like he was looking down on his readers, (Go look it up, indeed. Isn't that YOUR job, Mr. Author man? You can inspire a reader's willingness to learn without condescension or snarkiness and get much better results too) and if perhaps it had some context, this would be a much, much better book. As it is, no. It just doesn't work and it's an hour of my life I'd like back, please.

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