Bring your ruler

Posted by on Mar 11, 2009 in Brian's Blog | 1 comment

Some readers want to know. What do I think of the review, the cover story, in the March 2009 edition of Alberta Views magazine?

Let me quote from the late Jack McClelland. “Don’t read reviews,” he used to tell his authors. “Measure them!”

I measured the piece in Alberta Views. Five pages, including pictures, plus the cover picture. That works out to more than 9% of the entire magazine. Not bad.

Disregarding McClelland’s advice, I then read through the review, checking for errors of fact, if not interpretation.

In the very first sentence, the reviewer, Alex Rettie, gives 1997 as the year of Ernest Manning’s death. It was actually 1996 — Feb. 19, 1996 to be precise.

Further on in the first paragraph, Rettie says Manning spent 10 years in the Canadian senate. It was actually 13 years.

In the final paragraph, the reviewer says there has been “very little critical response, even in Alberta, to Brian Brennan’s The Good Steward.” Well, let’s see now. It received reviews in the Calgary Herald, Edmonton Journal, Lethbridge Herald, FastForward, Alberta History. Who did we miss?

The reviewer did, however, spell my name correctly. At least he got that right.

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Copyright 2009 Brian Brennan - Writer

One Comment

  1. I wrote that review, and apologize for the errors regarding the date of Mr, Manning’s death and the number of years he served in the Senate. As I told Brian in an e-mail this afternoon, at the time I wrote the piece the reviews he mentions(fewer than he makes it seem — the Edmonton Journal just reprinted Catherine Ford’s review in the Herald) had not yet appeared. I guess years of writing for a newspaper leave you unfamiliar with the lead times monthly magazines work with. Anonymous — I’m glad you liked the review; right now, though, I’m not especially pleased you put money in Mr. Brennan’s pocket on the strength of it.

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