Book Review | Dreyer’s English

I never thought I’d laugh while reading a grammar book, and yet here we are.

Dreyer’s English is written by Benjamin Dreyer, the current VP and copy chief of Random House—so, you know, he has some worthy credentials. This book serves as a guide for aspiring writers and editors alike, offering advice, definitions, and ways to avoid common mistakes, all to help improve writing.

This is an excellent guide. The rules, explanations, and examples are all well-written. The sections are short but informative, making this a fast, engaging read. Best of all, this book is surprisingly funny; Dreyer has a quick, dry wit, and a keen awareness that books of this sort can easily tip toward the boring camp. Therefore, he takes pains to address and deal with both these potential issues by providing commentary in the form of footnotes. Some are personal anecdotes, some are further explanations of some of the more technical aspects of publishing/writing, and some are a combination of the two. But they’re all wonderful.

In the end, Dreyer’s English is a spectacular resource for anyone who wants to write a book, who wants to become an editor, or who simply enjoys the strange, complex, rewarding English language. I kind of want to fling this book at people, whether they’re writers or not, simply because I think it’s that fantastic. You will not regret reading this book.

Overall rating: 9.5/10

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