‘This Was a Bad and Unhelpful Book’

You know that things are not going well for Sarah Palin’s book Going Rogue when a self-professed fan (though now a weary one, he admits) begins his review with the above quote. Add to the ignominy the fact that the review appears in the religious magazine First Things and that the reviewer, John Mark Reynolds, bends over backwards to find things to admire both in Palin and in the book but finally tosses in the towel:

The best you can say about this book is that it is forgettable and will be forgotten. It is a book-of-the-moment non-book meant to be purchased and given as a Christmas gift to conservatives.

Ouch. No dust jacket blurbs for John Mark Reynolds.

In addition to the review, Reynolds wrote a fascinating chapter-by-chapter response to the book as he read it that shows his growing disaffection in real time. It begins at chapter one, when Palin includes a quote by Plato that was never said by Plato, then deepens in chapter two when she includes a quote by Aristotle that was never said by Aristotle. It pretty much goes downhill from there.

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