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The Transitive Vampire

by Karen Elizabeth Gordon

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581929,993 (3.99)21
  1. 00
    Sin and Syntax: How to Craft Wickedly Effective Prose by Constance Hale (Nickelini)
    Nickelini: Even more readable than Karen Elizabeth Gordon and also very funny. And easier to learn from, if that's your goal.

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A clever, witty, and enjoyable (!) book about grammar, syntax, and the written word. It is full of useful examples and descriptions of grammatical constructs. This book is more enjoyable and easier to use than Strunk and White in my opinion, while also providing the same information. Anyone who wants to improve their writing ability and reading skills would benefit from reading this book. ( )
  cyoung3 | Feb 7, 2018 |
This grammar guide's quirky gimmick is that the example sentences are all dark and supernatural-themed, Victorian-flavored, vaguely erotic, or just plain weird. (E.g., "To nuzzle flagpoles is her secret desire," "If I die first, will you tuck me into my casket?" and "The werewolf had a toothache.") This is at least more interesting than the standard "John gave the ball to Mary" stuff, but it didn't necessarily work all that well for me. If anything, it's kind of distracting, and it doesn't make up for the fact that the grammar lessons themselves are very dry and focused more on providing names for all the possible parts of a sentence than on teaching you how to use them well. Plus, unsurprisingly, there are points upon which it gets overly pedantic. There are definitely better, and livelier, grammar guides out there. Still, it'll be worth hanging on to in case I need to quickly look up the difference between a participle and a gerund, or if I ever meet a Goth in need of grammar lessons. ( )
  bragan | Oct 1, 2015 |
This is a great book! Although it us a pretty thorough text about grammar, it is dressed in so much hilarity and freshness that it is pleasurable to read. I was surprised by the fact that it was published in 1984, as there is nothing about it that feels dated. I appreciate the pictures that are dispersed throughout the book as well; they are very enjoyably creepy. I recommend this book for middle school students all the way up to adulthood. For those who struggle with learning grammar, the light humor should make it more bearable for you ( )
  epenton | May 6, 2014 |
No dust cover
  facetious | Oct 23, 2013 |
The Transitive Vampire: A handbook of grammar for the innocent, the eager and the doomed looked as if it would appeal to me. It was immediately obvious that the writer of the book has a sense of humor. I was eager to read a book about a serious topic that had been written in a less-than-serious manner.

The book is filled with example sentences. The example sentences are filled with nonsensical scenarios. "She was kicked by the soft shoe of destiny, and she landed in Wales." That sentence is to exemplify the proper use of an independent clause.

Here is a sentence that is given as an example for correcting the use of sentence fragments: "Sometimes bras and panties would cry out to her to touch them as she navigated her way through the boutique."

Here is one of my favorite examples, also illustrating the avoidance of sentence fragments: "Tripping over the ripped linoleum, she was floored."

While the sentence examples are quite clever and witty I have to say that I was left with more questions than answers. The author gives examples that are incorrect and then makes appropriate corrections. I found myself wanting greater detail in her explanations of clauses and such. I read the book with a cursory interest but I did not come away from it smarter than before I read it. Pity, that.

I also expected something quite different from the book and am very dismayed that I found it not to be as I had suspected it would be. Upon picking it up and glancing through it I thought the example sentences were, themselves, going to tell their own creative story. I am sorry to say that wasn't the case. My expectations were not met by this book. ( )
  BoundTogetherForGood | Mar 27, 2011 |
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Dear Reader: this book is for you
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It is in high spirits that this opulent, rapturous, vamped-up grammar drama leaps into your lap.
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This is the original 1984 version of the book. Do not combine with the later updated 1993 Deluxe edition. Thank you.
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