Book Review (and subtext)

The recent publication of  […….] by Professor X marks a moment in the history of […….].  It establishes him as one of the leading, if not the leading, authority on the subject of […….].

Professor X works at Zip Code Law School and I would like a job there too.

The work is lucid, path-breaking, and a real moment marking the advent of […….].

In the American legal academy, there is no praise too effusive or adulation too florid to be believed by its addressee.  I have learned this lesson well and I’ve got the game down.

The book is:


Occasionally insightful


Moderately competent


Off the wall


0.2 standard deviations from the norm

A tour de force

Rather improbable 

In a previous work, Professor X argued that […….].

Professor X has managed to squeeze out yet another publication rehearsing his same old themes. 

The book offers a number of interesting new twists on ideas first articulated by […….], […….], and […….]

I’ve read the thing from cover to cover and I’ll be damned if I understand why anyone is paying so much attention to the thing.  I mean there’s not a new idea within a 50-mile radius of the thing.

Professor X begins with an excellent discussion of […….] providing a rich context for […….].

Professor X devotes more than half the book to a rehash of the prior work of others.  Lord save us from the University Press editors, dissertation disease, and the well-intentioned, but grossly misguided, demands of academic reviewers for more elaboration, more examples, and more documentation.

And yet…if one follows the searing criticisms I painstakingly set forth below, one will see that the book emerges as fatally flawed, question-begging, misframed, insufficiently supported, etc.

Aren’t my criticisms just the bomb?  I mean really.

Nonetheless, despite my criticisms, the book remains a brilliant work.  Indeed, notwithstanding my searing criticisms, Professor X’s work emerges as a profound and lasting contribution to […….].

On balance, I really and truly would like a position at Zip Code Law School.  Also please know that in the future, sometime, I plan to dedicate myself full time to writing what I really think…  probably starting next year…  or at least very soon… though not too soon, of course… with the outside chance of maybe not at all… and, actually, come to think of it, like Professor X himself: never.  

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1 Response to Book Review (and subtext)

  1. Pingback: Law schools roundup - Overlawyered

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