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Friday, March 30, 2012

Book Review: Sin and Syntax by Constance Hale

Sin and Syntax: How to Craft Wickedly Effective ProseSin and Syntax: How to Craft Wickedly Effective Prose by Constance Hale

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I always remember a piece of advice in Stephen King's ON WRITING, which I read a good few years ago: King recommends that writers get themselves a "writer's toolbox" of skillsets, reference books etc. that they can fall back on and use to enhance their trade.

Ever since, I've been keeping an eye out for really good guides to the nitty-gritties of writing: namely, spelling, punctuation and grammar. SIN AND SYNTAX may well be one of the best of those guides.

The first and foremost thing about this book is that it's an entertaining read. No dry, academic textbook stuff here (and believe me, I've read my share of them). Hale is a witty and involving author, and she makes a potentially unengaging/uninteresting subject positively zing at times.

The book is split into short, manageable chunks that make reading - and learning - a breeze. Language is brought to life in all of its wondrous forms, with equal prominence given to Shakespeare and modern-day rap lyrics. You'll learn a lot from reading it.

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