Eats Shoots and Leaves is a really funny and important book on grammar and punctuation. Who knew that a book about missed apostrophes and commas would become a bestseller? It just goes on to prove that if you write about what you really love, people will read it!
Now a book about grammar and punctuation sounds really dry, doesn’t it? Although Lynne Truss is serious about her punctuation and the errors people make nowadays, mostly because of e-mail usage and the Internet, she maintains a charming and witty flow of thought, making it a delight to read (I laughed out loud a few times). No dry toast here! Eats, Shoots and Leaves starts with a panda who enters a bar. This is what happens next –
A panda walks into a café. He orders a sandwich, eats it, then draws a gun and proceeds to fire it at the other patrons.
‘Why?’ asks the confused, surviving waiter amidst the carnage, as the panda makes towards the exit. The panda produces a badly punctuated wildlife manual and tosses it over his shoulder.
‘Well, I’m a panda,’ he says, at the door. ‘Look it up.’
The waiter turns to the relevant entry in the manual and, sure enough, finds an explanation. ‘Panda. Large black-and-white bear-like mammal, native to China. Eats, shoots and leaves.’
He eats, shoots everyone and then leaves. Got you thinking? A panda eats shoots and leaves. The comma has no business there after the ‘eats’.
This is the kind of book that you will either love or not. If you are a writer, please read this, I implore you! As Lynne Truss says, there are people who say – “There are blacker sins in this world than a missed apostrophe”. Sure there are. But I think nowadays, there is a general decay in the quality of the English language and Lynne Truss has a point here. But that’s just me. Some might find the ‘Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation’ a tad too extreme.
I thought this book was a very refreshing and humorous take on grammar and punctuation. If you are really particular about punctuation, or not, or you are just looking for a good laugh, pick up this book.