Home > children's book, fiction, novel > The Discovery of Socket Greeny: Tony Bertauski

The Discovery of Socket Greeny: Tony Bertauski

October 5, 2011




The Discovery of Socket Greeny proved rather tricky for me to review. It’s confusing, inconsistent, the characters behave bizarrely for little apparent reason, and there are many instances of heavily overwritten text: but the writer’s voice is strong and compelling, and despite the book’s flaws I enjoyed this quirky read.

It does need work. While the text is clean enough some editing is still required: there are several places where the text could be significantly tightened, particularly in the many dream-like sequences (there’s a distinction between “atmospheric” and “poncey” which I suspect this writer is not yet fully aware of); the word “essence” is horribly overused; and the writer really needs to learn how to avoid constructions which make his sentences laugh-out-loud wrong. For example, on page twenty-eight we find this:

Mom waited at the office door. She pushed her hair behind her ear, it fell back, and took a deeper breath than usual.

I can tell what the author meant; but he’s written that Mom’s hair was breathing, which doesn’t work at all. If that were the only example of this particular grammatical stumble that I found in the book I would be more forgiving: but there were several, and each one made me wince. Mistakes like these add up quickly and have a very detrimental effect on the reader’s enjoyment of the book. It’s the sort of thing that a good editor would spot: and I can’t help thinking that if Mr. Bertauski had worked with a good editor, I would be recommending this book to you now. I read thirty-seven of two hundred and sixty-eight pages and am rather disappointed that this particular book couldn’t show itself off a little better.

  1. In the Wake of Discovery, by Carol Hogan
    October 5, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    Sentence construction mistakes always make me cringe/laugh/cry. As a former college writing center tutor it was amazing to me how many times new college writers fell into this trap. When I’d point it out students were always surprised. I think its something that begins in high school and just carries over into a high school’s writing afterlife.

  2. October 6, 2011 at 6:07 am

    One of the (very few) things I remember from English lessons was reading a piece which began “her eyes fell to the floor … ” and got increasingly, hilariously convoluted with equally ludicrous phrases so that we were all weeping with laughter at the end. It cured me.

  3. Julia
    December 4, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    Thanks to the wonderful Absolute Write Water Cooler we can name the guilty editor – Teresa Kennedy, who is now a co-owner of the Village Green Press:


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