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Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite
In the dedication of Typo Squad (yes, some of us do read dedications and introductions), Stephen Lomer tells us this crazily brilliant book of his is dedicated to proofreaders and copy editors. He needs to add book reviewers to that list i.e. all of us tasked with the job of rating books and trying to explain why we just couldn’t give this or that masterpiece 5 or even 4 stars because of the grammar, punctuation, spelling, incorrect word usage and, above all, typos! In a kind of “Men in Black” scenario, the Typo Squad is on the lookout for typos in books, papers, even store signs. The members of the Typo Squad are particularly sensitive to typos and spotting them causes the members to react strangely. Some vomit; others swear; one even has orgasms! The protagonist, Richard Shonnary, falls into drunken stupors. If you’re beginning to sense this book is humorous, you’re right. It would probably have Howie Mandell’s hand reaching for the golden buzzer.
Lomer writes Typo Squad as if it were a mystery. Shonnary is summoned back from retirement after typos start appearing in droves, probably thanks to the current reliance on auto-corrects that don’t correct, our obsession with texting, and the fact that teachers stopped teaching grammar decades ago. In fact, dare I suggest that many of today's teachers wouldn't recognize bad grammar if it hit them between the eyes? There, I've finally said it. Shonnary and his team set out to find the villain causing all the chaos, and because I don’t want to spoil your enjoyment of this escapade, I’m refraining from sharing some of the punny names of Shonnary’s assistants. You see, figuring out what they mean is half the fun of reading this book!
If you are going to read Typo Squad, and I do recommend it, keep an open mind and prepare to laugh. It is certainly a clever concept and Lomer carries it off beautifully. Since the book is based on the angst some of us feel when we’re reading and keep hitting typos and grammar problems, I had to giggle when I spotted an incorrect use of “lie” and “lay”. And Stephen, you must forgive me for the shriek I let out when I read these sentences containing one of the worst abominations of grammar ever: “Chicago was yanked roughly off of him and dragged backward;” “He pulled the straitjacket off of Dick and helped him to his feet.” Please send out an APB to the Typo Squad immediately. We need that abomination eradicated NOW! In summary, Typo Squad is witty, unique and grammar nerds will love it. So let your hair down and enjoy!