Thursday, November 13, 2014

Book Review - The Janitor's Secret

This book review's been sitting in my draft folder since, oh SEPTEMBER, so it's about time to publish it,

The Janitor's Secret is written by a fellow dyslexic, Cornell Amerson, who suffered through a horrible schooling experience. He inserted some of his experiences into the dyslexic janitor character, but the story is told through the eyes of a neurotypical man switching to a job in janitorial work. I picked it up in an effort to support the author, and the high rating on Amazon had me looking forward to reading it.

Unfortunately, I was sorely disappointed. There's a huge amount of potential within this book, and the author is obviously an intelligent, spiritual person, but he needed to go through the manuscript quite a few more times before publishing it.

There were few spelling errors, and some grammatical problems. There were also formatting issues, which may have to do with the publishing platform. I ended up skimming most of it, because the repetition was so bad and the dialogue so unnatural. Most of the characters were incredibly shallow, especially the villains.

I also found myself a bit disturbed at how he portrayed women. They had three roles - the mother/nurturing figure, the villain or the authority figure. The men seemed to be either saviors or victims. This problematic view of the two genders makes me wonder how the author himself relates to men and women.

There were also parts where I felt I was being preached to, which is never a pleasant sensation. I have no problem with including religion in the story, but it becomes an issue when it starts taking over. Maybe it would be different if I were Christian, but since I'm not, it only served to take more away from the piece.

The plot itself, however, wasn't too bad. It was predictable in parts, but there were a couple of twists that I didn't see coming.

However, the point of the book, raising dyslexia awareness, is an extremely noble cause. If the author put some more work into editing, and worked with another writer on his technique, this book could be worthy of a high rating.

I was impressed, however, with the author's bravery in publishing his school records and his own story at the end of the book. He also provided some wonderful tips and Dos and Don'ts on how to help dyslexic individuals.

If he puts out another edition, after working on his technique, I'd be happy to give it another read through. The story touches on many important issues, including the complacent attitude towards education, the unfair treatment of those in disadvantaged situations, the poor treatment of single fathers in the welfare system and poverty.

While the book itself is surely a great personal success for him, and I don't blame him for that at all, I wouldn't suggest it for a casual reader. If you would like to support this individual author's personal efforts, though, check it out.

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