Books: The Decline of Editing

Or why are people asking whom's minding the store?

The book was No. 1—in everything but prose. Thy Neighbor's Wife may appeal to the prurient, the innocent and the curious, but it dismays anyone devoted to English. It hardly corrupts the reader's morals, as some critics have charged, but it may help corrupt his language. The work, eight years in the making, publicized like a space shot, high on the charts, frequently reads as if translated from the Albanian: "This was when Jim Buckley met Al Goldstein, whose spy piece he helped to edit,...

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