Tuesday, 30 October 2018

It's all in the language........

So, when you buy a book, what are you looking for?

Well, I would suggest that when you buy a book that promises to be "Genuinely frightening, forensically detailed" you are expecting to read something which lives up to those claims. However, we must remember that the quote on the cover comes from none other than Judy Finnigan.

Now, I quite like Judy - she likes a pint and rocks a sports bra - but I don't think she's the best critic in the world. 

Still, it also gets this rave review

"'Delves beneath the hysterical headlines to tell the real story of this heart-breaking mystery' Choice Magazine

For those of you who haven't had the pleasure, Choice magazine is a small circulation magazine specifically for the Over 50s, packed to the rafters with articles about how to find a lost pension and ways to stave off type 2 diabetes

Let's just say it isn't the Washington Post, and leave it at that

Still, like me you are probably hoping for something original and certainly some new information.

So tonight I want to show you some choice quotes from "Looking for Madeleine"

What do you notice?

‘There she was, perfect,’ Kate McCann would recall of Madeleine’s birth

(Summers, Anthony. Looking For Madeleine (Kindle Locations 87-88). Headline. Kindle Edition. )

Kate would recall her big blue-green eyes as seemingly ever open – one of them, the right eye, bearing a rare blemish in the iris. The mark, known as a coloboma, would one day receive worldwide publicity.

(Summers, Anthony. Looking For Madeleine (Kindle Locations 98-100). Headline. Kindle Edition. )
‘You forget,’ Kate was to reflect, ‘how precious life is – until something awful happens …’

(Summers, Anthony. Looking For Madeleine (Kindle Locations 114-115). Headline. Kindle Edition.) 
Kate McCann was initially hesitant about the trip. She has explained this by saying she had concerns about what it would cost, and all the trouble and organisation involved in getting three small children to Portugal and back for just a few days.

(Summers, Anthony. Looking For Madeleine (Kindle Locations 124-126). Headline. Kindle Edition. )

‘It was all a bit weird,’ Rachael Oldfield was to reflect, ‘almost like the holiday should never have happened in the first place.’

(Summers, Anthony. Looking For Madeleine (Kindle Locations 129-130). Headline. Kindle Edition.) 

Spotted it yet?

There is virtually nothing in this book which is original. They actually spoke to very few of the protagonists, except for a carefully curated selection of the McCanns Besties, like Jim Gamble and Brian Kennedy

Most of the ''quotes'' are simply paraphrased from other books, statements or newspaper articles, written in such a way as to make it appear to the casual observer that the authors have actually had some form of contact with these people.

They haven't.

It is the written equivalent of a sleight of hand; a less than skillful deception, essentially.

This might not be the worst book written about the case, but it is certainly the laziest




  1. Hoping NT will accept that off topic post about a privilege that we should be grateful of and strictly respect.
    Textusa, who not always publishes posts that don't suit him, but reads this blog and seemingly feels free to publish and discuss tweets of others, will be able to oppose his point of view on the crucial matter of freedom of speech.
    The principle is simple and obvious, but as it is pretty tough, it is rarely applied : being in favour of freedom of speech means being in favour of freedom of speech precisely for views you despise or are contradicting yours.
    However as calling for the right to express oneself doesn't mean defending someone's theses, whenever you criticize publicly someone's opinion, you should grant that person the opportunity to react publicly. As far of course as you wish debating, not combating.

    1. Anne, your posts are always welcome.
      I try to publish every comment unless it is:

      1. Abuse aimed at another poster
      2. Libel or gratuitously offensive.

      If anyone ever feels this has not been fairly applied, they are welcome to submit another comment or email me.

      We are aware of an ongoing problem where you get to the point of submitting your post and it disappears. I have contacted blogger about this and they were about as helpful as a one-legged man at an arse-kicking party. We think it might be associated with the browser you use. If this happens, please email your comment and I will cut and paste it.
      If you think a post has been withheld or deleted in error or without good reason, let me know

  2. Through some weird serendipity, I was just searching google for mentions of Madeleine and Sabine Dardenne together, to see if there was anything mentioned about Dardenne outside Kate's quick '80 day marker' comments. First page of results I got an ebook version of Looking for Madeleine. Ironically enough, the only mention of Sabine is factually incorrect. The passage reads;

    'Sabine Dardenne, aged twelve, and Laetitia Delhez, fourteen, abducted in Belgium in 1996, recovered three months later'

    In actual fact, Sabine was captive 80 days, but Laetitia was only captive 6 days, Dutroux was sloppy kidnapping her and that's what got him caught ultimately. Some may say this is nitpicking, but I think there's a big difference in 80 days and 6 days - failing to add that information, especially given that it turned out to be what ended his spree - implies that it was just information lazily added as padding, and dehumanizes both victims. Which appears to be standard with this 'official unofficial retelling'. No emphasis on the case details, corruption in Belgium that meant his trial took 8 years, trail of bodies behind him, or even a cursory explanation of what happened to her and Laetitia. The same goes for the other examples around it. They are lazily added in an arbitrary list of 'kids who came home', just as coldly as Kate listed off in 2008.

    Hoping this comment comes through, I found I was able to post on Text using Chrome, though he doesn't want to publish me unless it's through my tweets. Not sure why Firefox doesn't like Blogspot.

    - Ben S (H42A)


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