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October 1989

How Not to Write a Book Review

Author Affiliations

Division of Dermatology Medical College of Ohio PO Box 10008 Toledo, OH 43699-0008

Arch Dermatol. 1989;125(10):1431. doi:10.1001/archderm.1989.01670220129024

To the Editor.—  Kligman has pleaded for book reviews that are more honest and heuristic1 and Gilchrest has responded by pointing out that such reviews may demand anonymous reviewers.2I submit that, in the case of many books, it is the author, not the reviewer, that should remain anonymous. Here is a robust critique of an anonymously authored volume I was recently sent for review.Skin Without Sweat, by I. M. Anon, New York, NY: Appendageal Medical Book Publishers; 1989.Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested.Sir Francis BaconHere is a book to be smelled, and it really does. What the author has concocted is a malodorous, sweaty bouillabaisse of misinformation, misinterpretation, and misimpressions. This is not surprising given an author who is obviously a village-class scholar. The writing is verbose, obtuse, and, at times,

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