reading a book that I won't name for what will be obvious reasons,
but with every chapter I am increasingly astonished and dismayed as
to how it managed to get published with the aid of a generous grant from a government organisation that has helped fund many cultural and literary projects.
Author” has an amazing CV that I won't detail, again for
obvious reasons, and shows off a brilliant academic pedigree including a doctorate in literature. The author has won awards, been a lecturer and held prestigious fellowships, etc. All this, as well as being an accomplished sports-person to boot, just
to add icing to the cake.
For someone like me whose writing qualifications could be summed up
in one sentence and sporting prowess in the word zilch, I must admit to always being in awe of people with blue ribbon literary qualifications and with enough leftover energy to burn in other endeavours, but in this case it all seems just a wee bit too good to be true, given that the quality of the
writing in the book doesn't reflect the skills represented in
the author blurb.
is interesting and written in a quasi-fictional style, i.e. creative
non-fiction. Nothing wrong with that, it is a way of bringing what often can be a dry factual story to life in an entertaining
way for the general reader but it only succeeds when it is written by an accomplished author and has been efficiently edited.
So, I have to
wonder what kind of checks and balances there are with literature
bodies as to the quality of the finished product when a book contains
glaring errors of fact and anachronisms, typos, cringe-making dialogue and poor grammatical
construction that any Year 10 student of English could improve.
The simple fact is this book doesn't appear to have been written by Impressive
Author PhD, or if it were, then how did this individual manage to fool so many
people over their literary competence for so long? It is actually a scary thought that people like this may have been teaching others how to write.
Much has been
appearing in the media this week about shonky degrees being handed
out by universities, and it follows that one must query what really
goes on in the decision-making processes of literary bodies who part with
thousands of dollars and then don't seem to bother that the finished product fails to reflects the high standards they outwardly espouse.