Another thing that pisses me off about the book I'm currently reading is the quality of research. It's bad enough that the author displays an almost limitless lack of adventure and the same amount of self-pity. Never mind her strange obsessions with coffee and food, and the fact that she belittles her more interesting travel companion at every opportunity. Forget her didactic tone, her purple prose.
Even aside from all that, she just plain gets her facts wrong, which maybe isn't too surprising given that she takes the time to complain about how she once spent eight whole hours researching something. While looking for more information on her subject matter, about whom I am now genuinely curious, I've discovered that she has probably gotten the nationality of her subject wrong. I'm in no position to confirm or deny this, but here are some other gaffes:
- At one point she decries an event as being “archetypically
American,” which would be fine except that the event in question
occurs in Canada. She actually repeats the error later in the same
paragraph. The author is from Australia. Or New Zealand, whatever.
- I flipped to the back of the book to see how much more there
is to read and stumbled across a familiar line: “Isn't it pretty
to think so.” I immediately recognized it as Hemingway and thought
it was from The Sun Also Rises (it is). She even mentions the
sunrise in her sentence leading up to that quote, which she then
attributes to Fitzgerald.
She got a government grant for this. And she's an insufferable bore.