This was my first book of 2013, and the first book to start off my new year resolution to read more. Sad to say, it was very tough going because the writing was repetitive and long-winded. Which was a surprise, since one would expect the editing to be a lot tighter given that it’s a book about the newsroom. There were typos from the first page, and the convoluted sentences were difficult to follow.
In fact, it sounds like an old grandfather recounting war stories – which is exactly what the book is about. And once you’ve resigned yourself to this idea, you can be quite forgiving when the book rambles on and on.
Read the book not for its style but its content. Cheong Yip Seng basically survived to tell of his time in Straits Times. Forty years is a long time, especially with a government that is always so edgy and jumpy with the press. There are lots of juicy tidbits that would entertain those who are not in the newsroom, while for those who were, the book helps to confirm in hindsight what had happened.
Given that there are rumours that the powers-that-be have handled down their imperial edict against any reprint of the book, OB Markers is certainly worth buying and keeping.