(My Amazon review posted yesterday)
Headline: **** Informative, fun to read, and endearing
I have to say I didn’t spot a rollick anywhere, nor did I find it jaw-dropping, gob-smacking hilarious, or otherwise over the top in any category – except whatever quality it takes to make one glad to have read it, grateful to Ms Norris for having written it, and envious of anyone who has had the good fortune to spend time with her in the flesh (so to speak). The book’s part memoir of girlhood in Cleveland, part memoir of work at The New Yorker, part grammar and punctuation screed, all with a very big helping of good humor and often questionable taste (in the bowdlerian sense). I challenge anyone not to smile all the way through the section about profanity, and was delighted to see Carlin’s seven dirty words in print, even though not in the same order that I remember them, but why quibble. Ms. Norris no doubt researched them and my recollection is awry.
My sole caveat is that I nearly skipped over some of the bits about commas. It would take a face-to-face conversation for her to make those interesting to me. Great fun for word nerds, grammar geeks, fans of The New Yorker (the book could have done with a great deal more of NYer lore but …) and lovers of good writing. Highly recommended.