Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Nickel and Dimed
This is the review i looked at. The reviewer likes the book as a whole, but says that the audience response was terrible. He points out that the middle class readers described the book as "shocking" and "eye opening" and that the fact that poverty in America is obvious. He didn't like how this sort of praise added profanity to the book. I think that the word "shocking" is used for the simple fact of making profit. The word shocking is used in a quote, from the Irish times, on the back of the book under the blurb. All products use quotes in a similar way to sell numbers, it makes sense to use the good quotes and not the bad ones.
The reviewer then talks of the problems with the experiment. He points out that Ehrenreich always had the option of pulling out at any time and that she didn't have to worry about the long term future real people living in poverty have to cope with. The reviewer makes the point of saying that the whole experiment was patronising to those in poor circumstances as well as inaccurate. I agree with this as you could get better answers from interviewing or surveying those living in poverty to get more of the truth about the lifestyles of the poor. You could even follow family's and single people coping with poverty in all demographics to try and find a better truth, but i think this would make for a less exciting read. I think whats appealing about this book (for middle classes) is that it is the active decision Ehrenreich made to put herself into such conditions when she didn't need to. It's like a really elaborate dare and Ehrenreich accepted, obviously audiences will want to see her fail at some point in the book, or if not expect it. It would be corrupt to think these sorts of things about real people in poverty.
The reveiwer sums up the book by highlighting the fact that it is patronising. I diddnt find it patronising i found it entertaining. You cant assume that Ehrenreich is on some sort of self rightous pilgramage and that she is pointing out a known truth and claiming it to be a discovery.
I think the reveiwer is upset about the target markets response for the book, they even say themselves that the book is well written, its just the topic of the book that they found unsavoury.

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