August 7, 2010

REVIEW! GRAMMAR EDITION! Eat, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation.

Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation
Lynne Truss


A panda walks into a café. He orders a sandwich, eats it, then draws a gun and fires two shots in the air.

“Why?” asks the confused waiter, as the panda makes towards the exit. The panda produces a badly punctuated wildlife manual and tosses it over his shoulder.

“I’m a panda,” he says, at the door. “Look it up.”

The waiter turns to the relevant entry and, sure enough, finds an explanation.

Panda. Large black-and-white bear-like mammal, native to China. Eats, shoots and leaves.”

So, punctuation really does matter, even if it is only occasionally a matter of life and death.

My rating: 4 stars.


If it wasn’t already apparent, I’m a grammar fanatic – so much, that I enjoy reading books about grammar (and then passing them on to others!). One of my favorites is Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation. Not sure where to place that pesky apostrophe? Could that sentence use a comma somewhere? Having trouble properly forming quotations, placing semicolons or dashes? No problem. Lynne Truss can guide the way.

Usually when people discover that I’ve read this book, they think I’m too much of a grammar fanatic and that they could never possibly read an entire book about something they’d rather leave Spell Check to fix. But you don’t have to be interested in grammar to read this book. I often suggest it to others simply as a guide; I don’t expect anyone to sit down and read through its entirety in one night. Instead, I suggest that others use it for when they’re struggling with any grammatical problem(s).

What I like about Eats, Shoots & Leaves is that Truss doesn’t merely show you the grammatically correct use of any punctuation mark. She also gives examples as to how they’re used incorrectly, which I believe is important for readers to see so they can learn from their mistakes.

Whether you want to read it for pleasure or use it as a pocket guide for your grammar woes, Eats, Shoots & Leaves will not disappoint.


  1. I totally agree. Truss has a wonderful sense of humour that makes her guide actually fun and as well as useful.

  2. You just got an award over here:

    Make sure to go check it out!

  3. I haven't read this one, but I'm also weirdly interested in grammar so I think I shall have to check it out. :)

  4. Great review! This is such a sweet book. Informative and amusing, all at once.


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