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Good Prose: The Art of Nonfiction

Good Prose: The Art of Nonfiction - Tracy Kidder, Richard Todd Wanna-be writers like me are always looking for good books on good writing. I love Tracy Kidder’s writing and, if Richard Todd is, indeed, Kidder’s long-time editor, then he is also on my Good Boy list. So I thus fell into that old trap of Anticipating and Having Expectations that so often disappoints. I tell you this so you won’t Anticipate and Expect, too. This is a lovely book, a lovely story of friendship and learning to work together, and learning to write and learning to edit, but it is not much of a book about how to write well. That isn’t to say that this book isn’t full of ideas about how to write well, but put it down if it’s an authoritative how-to book that you are seeking. Lots of stories that will make you smile if you’ve read much Kidder but that’s really it. I’m going to really be daring here---as I step out on a thin limb---and assert that in my (VH) opinion what this book could have used is a good editor. And a better title. Just my two cents as a reader. And let me close by using an old psychological technique of Blaming the Victim: had this been a better how-to book, perhaps I could now be writing a better review of this book.