...Mr. Dreyer has a lot of useful information to impart ... One encounters wisdom and good sense on nearly every page of Dreyer’s English. The whole chapter on fiction should be bound and issued to all MFA students. But part of the fun of the book, for me, was silently yelling at Mr. Dreyer on this point or that and writing a big 'NO!' in the margin ... Benjamin Dreyer has a style. It is playful, smart, self-conscious and personal, highlighted by admirable lines ... Sometimes, however, he crosses over into the Land of Twee ... But I’d hold my fire on the rest. After all, it’s his book.
Dreyer himself is a charming, chatty narrator with a soft spot for both digressive footnotes and name-dropping. He dislikes scare quotes and lauds parentheses for their 'conveyance of elbow-nudging joshingness.' He is just persnickety enough ... The emphasis on grammar as a tool for self-expression, not just communication, feels evocative of an era in which online dogmatists periodically go scorched earth on punctuation marks or parts of speech that offend their sensibilities ... Dreyer beckons readers by showing that his rules make prose pleasurable ... His book is in love with the toothsomeness of language. Its sentences capture writing’s physicality ... He takes a tinkerer’s joy in breaking apart syntax and putting it back together. Restrictive clauses are like Legos to him ... Dreyer’s attention to gusto in language use is magical in a way that resists full explication ... For Dreyer to wade into this process with news of pleasure is lovely.
User-friendly ... While the manual is invaluable for the author-to-be, it’s also an advantageous read for anyone looking to avoid sounding like an idiot in any official document, regardless of whether they have a background in or penchant for writing ... peppered with Dreyer’s playful anecdotal footnotes and acerbic wit, making for a riotous read when readers wouldn’t necessarily expect one ... A remarkably fun book about a dastardly dry subject, this will surely aid in committing the rules of the written word to memory, once and for all.