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October 08, 2005

Book review: In the Beginning There Were No Diapers

The following is a review done on behalf of Mind & Media. The copy of the book I reviewed was donated by the publisher, through Mind & Media for the purpose of this review.

I like Ann Coulter's style of writing—that biting sarcasm and wit. It reminds me of Dave Barry's style, although the two are very different politically, Barry being, from what I gather, a bit of a Liberal. The late Erma Bombeck used a similar technique in her writing, and did it well. It's a tough style to master, since it requires a good grasp of reality combined with the ability to toss in an outrageous hyperbole that shocks the reader and generates the laugh.

As I started reading Tim Bete's book, I could tell he was trying to do the same thing, but he simply doesn't get it. This technique has to be balanced just right. It is absolutely essential that the writing in grounded in reality, and the hyperbole is tempered and used at just the right places and in just the right amount. Bete's writing seems to start with the exaggerated hyperbole and continues with it, occasional dipping back to reality. It left me uncertain where the hyperbole ended and the reality began, and it became very tiring to read. I lasted about four chapters before I had to close the book.

I understand Tim has a radio show, and the book reflects his technique on his radio show. I guess he's doing okay on the show. Maybe the smaller doses that a radio program allows would be an easier dose of his technique, but for an entire book, it really got tedious.

As for the content itself, it really was hard to focus on given the overuse of exaggerated hyperbole. Whatever message might have been there was lost.

Posted by Danny Carlton at October 8, 2005 06:53 PM

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