Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Review:: The Victorian Internet, by Tom Standage

Title: The Victorian Internet
Author: Tom Standage
Format: eBook
Rating: ★★☆☆☆

While The Victorian Internet has some great info, it reads like a school essay. Minus good citations. I learned quite a bit, but if you're writing nonfic, you should cite, not just put sources at the end, and if you're making a point, trust your reader.

The idea is simply that the weird and new phenomena that we see arising from the internet have already happened. There's been an online wedding and romance before. It all happened... on the telegraph! Which is a really cute premise and I greatly enjoyed it.

Except two things really turned me off:

1) The lack of citations.

Putting sources at the end is all great and good, but if you don't actually give me endnotes or footnotes on your claims, I can't trust them. I don't know which of your source books you might have grabbed this factoid from. If something seems unrealistic to me, I want to be able to at least see a source for it, if not check it on my own.

2) The end.

Also known as, "the closing to my essay." While the parallels Standage had been making the entire time seemed obvious, at least to me, there's a final chapter that just hits you over the head repeatedly with a hammer. DID YOU GET THIS? the hammer seems to say. DID YOU?

Yes, hammer. I got it. You don't need to spell it out for me in a way that just feels so five part essay.

Anyway, it was a quick read and fun in parts, even if I grumble at its lack of citations and hammering. Others might enjoy it more than me.

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