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Showing 1-3 of 3 reviews(2 star). Show all reviews
on October 3, 2002
I don't know when I've read a more unfortunately flawed book -- unfortunately, because while there are snippets of truly inspired writing in it, they are overwhelmed by too many examples of what Strunk and White have told us all not to do. The author, evidently a successful journalist, seems to lose all sense of restraint in the book-length format: pithiness is absent as points are belabored to death; metaphors are piled three- and four-deep until all sense of the original subject is lost; and a sense of appropriate diction is tossed out the window in favor of florid, show-off vocabulary that causes the reader to wince in sympathetic embarrassment. Perhaps most telling, the author never seems to find an authentic voice. Compelling books on sports have been written from the perspective of both the insider and the outsider; Lambert seems to try for both, and is convincing as neither. He drops the names of rowing greats he has shared the river with, yet never seems to find his own place as a rower, the level at which he can simply put his head down and work at it without concern for what others are doing. Constantly fretting at his own inadequacies and questioning whether he has any right to consider himself a "real athlete", he articulates a series of vague goals that are best summed up as a desire not to be last -- or at least, not last by too much. The result, for the reader, is to end up wondering why Lambert is in this endeavor -- rowing or writing -- and if the author himself doesn't seem to know, why should the reader care?
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on December 15, 1999
Craig Lambert's Book 'Mind over water: Lessons on life from the art of rowing' attempts to explain how rowing can be a metaphor for life. 'attempts' being the key word there. Being a rower myself, I found that his ideas were so far fetched and in some cases I had no idea how they related to both life and the sport of rowing that we both share. I had to skip over many of the parts that were wordy, and it seems many of the paragraphs could be re-written to be half the length. I am not an english Major, but I did notice that he Author has not organized his thoughts very well. I found that one idea many times did not follow the next. Lambert included some unecessary bits of information such as where he played as a child, and much about his career as an adult. As much as I disliked Craig Lambert's book, he did at least use the correct rowing terminology. But all in all I would not reccomend ambert's book to my fellow crewmates.
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on October 15, 1998
Though drawn to Lambert's book as an amateur sculler, I saw any value of his informative dribbles on rowing repeatedly negated by his arrogance in offering Lessons on (Leading a Self-Absorbed) Life. A disappointing sinker, unlike the comparably intended work of Richard Bode.
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