Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Uphill With Jemele Hill - A Short Review

Uphill is a short read. 

Jemele Hill is an advocate, a sports writer, a broadcaster (though not a very happy one), a daughter, a granddaughter, and a friend.  

What she isn't is an author.

The book details her family's personal struggles with addiction and abuse; how she came out of her childhood relatively unscathed is a minor miracle.  The book roasts ESPN's culture and leadership.  The book lauds those who took time to mentor her, but she has much more fun skewering those who thwarted her, who disrespected her, who didn't give her what she deserved.

I couldn't find fault with the facts or her interpretation of them.  What bothered me was the writing.

Ms Hill writes for the Atlantic; I've never read her work.  After finishing Uphill, I'm not sure I want to.

The book presents last names without context; I was constantly flipping back to figure out who was who. It dances around the years, back and forth, confusing the timeline and this reader.  

But the worst offenses ran throughout the entire book - subjective and objective pronouns jarringly misused on almost every page. It stopped me short, every time.

What fool wouldn't want to work at ESPN?  

She and me.  Her and I.  This makes me nuts when it comes out of the mouths of reality show contestants (Bachelorettes talking about him and I's relationship). But showing up in a book, a book edited and published by Henry Holt and Company, was more than I could take.

She was part of a high school journalism internship run by a no-nonsense, intense woman who..... called us out if we made grammatical... errors.  I wonder what that woman thought about this book.

I know that it doesn't deserve a permanent place on my bookshelves; it's going in the Sell at Bookman's bag right now.

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