When I curled up with Marc Romano’s book on crosswords, I thought it was a halfway decent read. Then I changed my mind relegrated it to crapdom, and wondered if I was off the mark.
Well, James Kaplan in the NYTimes Sunday Book Review seems to feel the same way.
I don’t mind someone telling me how smart he is - so long as he can prove it in a somewhat endearing way. The problem with Romano is he’s not that smart, and he’s not endearing at all.
Worse yet, he makes egregious blunders you just don’t expect from a self-proclaimed polymath.
Earlier I read some of the custoner reviews at Amazon - mostly bad if memory serves - and a couple of them picked up on some facts that Romano inexplicably slipped up on. But there was one that no one caught. I swear to God that in an aside, Romano mentions that the Red Sox finally beat the Yankees in the World Series. (If you need clarification on that point, ask a baseball fan.)
Anyway, you can find it at…
All in all, I’d say, don’t buy the book. If you must read it, get it from the library. And while you’re there, make the trip count. Pick up a copy of Who Killed Roger Ackroyd?: The Mystery Behind the Agatha Christie Mystery… by Pierre Bayard.
Bayard is a French psychoanalyst, and his premise is that Hercule Poirot got it wrong. Someone else killed Roger Ackroyd. Mon Dieu, mes amis! Hercule’s leetle gray cells must have fallen asleep. :eek:
Check it out at amazon.com.
(I’ve already ordered a copy, hoping it’s wonderfully clever.)