Monday, August 9, 2010

Book Note: Alan Emmins, Mop Men: Inside the World of Crime Scene Cleaners (2004, 2008)

Neal Smither and his business, Crime Scene Cleaners, are great material for a book, but are they enough material? The answer is yes and no. Author Alan Emmins had enough material for a great book, but that book would have been only 60% as long as this one. Instead, he turns backflips padding his way to a bloated word count, and you can actually pinpoint the moments where he first becomes desperate and then gives up. Desperate: Beginning on page 181, he drops in a chapter on cryonics--material that he had lying around from a planned magazine article that he never wrote. Giving up: Beginning on page 242, he drops in 19 tedious pages, verbatim, from a court transcript. If you are interested in this book, proceed as follows: Read all scenes where Neal Smither is on stage. Read all scenes that involve actual cleaning. Skip everything else.

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