Cheap Review

Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture, Shell. Non-fiction. As interested as I would like to have been in the history and effects of America’s quest for cheap, I was unable to finish this book. Shell is a correspondent for The Atlantic, and maybe her skills are better suited for shorter pieces. This work was riddled with editing problems on every level, from typos (some of which could have been thinkos) to badly structured paragraphs to an overall lack of narrative cohesion. The book could very likely have been dramatically improved through the services of friend-of-the-Collective Plot to Punctuation.

2 thoughts on “Cheap Review

  1. ellen

    Thanks for giving my book CHEAP: The High Cost of Discount Culture a go. Cheap–like most books these days–is not without typos–copy editing is not what it once was, I’m afraid, and there is no doubt that writers can benefit from services such as yours in that regard. However, I’m interested in your comment about narrative cohesion and structure. Given the mostly excellent reviews CHEAP has received in the US, Canada and the UK (see, for example, the NYT Sunday Book Review: I wonder if actually finishing the book would have changed your mind.

    Thanks again,
    Ellen Ruppel Shell

  2. Craig

    Readers may also wish to check out the Publishers Weekly review (PW doesn’t include intra-page anchors, so your browser’s “find text” function will be helpful, or you can just scroll to the 5th-from-last review). That review and others are also available here, by clicking on “Reviews and More”.
    I’m going to indulge in some blurbism myself here in saying that the idea of getting through “Silent Spring-like moralizing” (Kirkus) to reach an “optimistic call to action that … feels hollow” (PW) does not persuade me to give it another try right now, despite the “sharp intelligence and … colloquial style” (PW).
    I (apparently) should also clarify that Plot to Punctuation is not in any way mine; I see its proprietor with some frequency, but have no relationship with his business.

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