Monday, February 18, 2013

Review: Gossip: The Untrivial Pursuit

Author: Joseph Epstein
Title: Gossip: The Untrivial Pursuit
Description: Epstein discusses why people gossip, different types of gossip, and a history of gossip.  
Writing style: Unlike a lot of the other non-fiction books I’ve been reviewing, this book does not come from a scholarly background. As far as I can tell, this book was just the author’s opinion and feelings, with a little historical research thrown in. The author throws in a gossipy tidbit of his own at the end of each chapter, and I have to admit that many of the people he was gossiping about are ciphers to me. (I guess that says something about gossip in itself—if you don’t at least know of the person being gossiped about, gossip is meaningless.)
Audience: People who like gossip?
Major ideas: I think this guy just likes to gossip.
Wrap-up: I wished that either the book had been more gossipy about people who are actually well-known or more scholarly. This book was in that shadow territory in between, which made for a lackluster read. 2/5*

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