Published in Issue 3 (May/June 2023), Letters, Volume 31

Sir,—I was very disappointed with Joe Culley’s ‘review’ of Paul Galvin’s book Threads (HI 31.1, Jan./Feb. 2023, Bookworm). By his own admission Mr Culley abandoned the book after three of the nineteen chapters, which is fair enough if it wasn’t to his liking. But would such a fleeting encounter with a publication qualify as sufficient to justify a review in History Ireland? My major gripe was the way Mr Culley resorted to sarcasm when referring to the use of Google and the work of Samuel Beckett, and the highlighting of the apostrophe in Finnegans Wake could only be described as petty. In his last sentence the reviewer tries to move his displeasure away from Galvin and onto the publisher, but the whole tone of the article was, in my opinion, tasteless. Any review should discuss both the good and the less-good points about a piece of work, but it surely should be done in a more professional manner. I feel that Mr Culley was too ready to dismiss the publication as a ‘marketing exercise’ and wasn’t prepared to give it a fair reading. I read the book (right through to the end) and found it enjoyable and informative.—Yours etc.,



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