This is a great book (and a quick read!) that will appeal to several kinds of people:
- those who are sticklers for punctuation
- those who missed out on learning about punctuation in school
- and those who don't understand why some people care so much about punctuation.
The book presents many basic rules of punctuation in a fun way. It's a good book for people interested in learning or reviewing punctuation marks: apostrophes, commas, semicolons, colons, exclamation marks, question marks, quotations marks, and dashes.
Don't skip the last chapter. It's an insightful discussion of the future of punctuation and the impacts of email and text messaging on traditional punctuation, grammar, and spelling rules. Truss makes a good case for not abandoning traditional punctuation conventions, while still being open to changes caused by technology and social norms.
As an English teacher, I would have liked to have seen a little more coverage of basic grammatical concepts to help readers understand the "why" of punctuation. However, by keeping her focus on punctuation, Truss makes the book a quick, entertaining and insightful read.
As a little bonus, because the author is British, the book also makes the reader aware of the differences between British and American punctuation conventions. U.S. readers, in particular, may be surprised to know that the conventions they learned in school regarding whether to put the puncutation inside or outside of quotation marks are different in British English. There are many other subtle differences as well, which are great for anyone to know in this global economy.
So overall, take the time to read this book. You may not agree with every bit of it, but it will make you think, and you'll definitely learn something!