The Punishment Imperative: Review

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The book started out a little slow, with the first chapter being a little technical and difficult to immerse into. By the second chapter though, things begin to pick up. The flow of the book comes together and the information is a lot easier to process. By the end of the book, I was really into it and couldn’t put it down. If you find yourself unable to stop reading, don’t worry, this book is an extremely quick read and only took me about a day to finish.

There is a lot of information presented throughout this book. At times the amount of information was overbearing, but usually it was a very manageable amount presented at a time. With the information being given to the reader there were a lot of statistics. Normally I am not a huge fan of stats but this book is really the perfect place for them. The placement of the statistics really did a nice job of emphasizing certain points for the reader.

The graphics also did a nice job of emphasizing certain points to the reader. Sometimes the statistics were hard to visualize and the graphs placed throughout the book aided in driving the point home to the reader. They were unobtrusively placed at the top of a page, allowing the reader to continue reading with only a casual glance, and managing to avoid interrupting the overall flow of the book.

The writing in this book is decent. There was such a constant stream of facts that the writer’s style of writing didn’t really shine through. But the authors’ presentation of facts was pleasant to read through and very informative. After reading the book and being exposes to the authors writing style, if I came across another book written by the same authors I wouldn’t hesitate to read it.

There were a couple of times where the authors stated things such as “in the remainder of this chapter we describe what we think…”. It drives me nuts when authors A) refer to themselves in their non-fiction book and B) refer to the chapter itself. This isn’t a huge issue, and only occurred sporadically at the beginning of the book, but it’s one of my pet peeves and so I figured it deserved a mention.

Bottom Line: I would give this book 7/10 stars. It was incredibly informative and by the end I felt that I had learned a lot, yet the book was a little bit too numbers/statistic based for my liking.

I received this book for review purposes via NetGalley.


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