I use this blog as a soap box to preach (ahem... to talk :-) about subjects that interest me.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Authors' Mistakes #11 - Vince Flynn

Earlier today, I finished reading American Assassin, by Vince Flynn.

The story, as usual, was very good. But I was disgusted by the poor quality of copy editing and proofreading.

Here below is a list of the mistakes I found in my edition (ISBN 978-1-84737-654-1). And who knows how many I missed, because when I went back to the pages I had marked, I had some difficulties in identifying the mistakes I had seen the first time.

Page 145: After a few minutes he set the alarm on his watch, turned off the bedside lamp, glanced at the loaded pistol, ... What? In the dark? Shouldn’t he first glance at the pistol and then switch the lamp off?

Page 272: The name Ohlmeyer becomes Ohimeyer.

Page 284: “Do want to walk up seven flights of stairs to go to the bathroom?” Who would say that? There should be a “you” between “Do” and “want”.

Page 290: “... you know how they can be when they’re upset. The don’t play nice. ...” Clearly, it should be “They don’t play nice”.

Page 305: Stansfield had been associates deputy director... Shouldn’t associates be singular?

Page 310: He woke up with a start, his heart pounding out of his chest, covered with sweat. Clearly, it was not his heart that was covered with sweat, but this is bad writing.

Page 402 - 1: As his deputy sat in the aisle seat next to him, he noted the way Shvets glanced at his glass of vodka, barely able to hide his contempt. This is bad writing, because you need to interpret the sentence in order to understand it. “his glass” refers to the boss’s glass, while “his contempt” refers to the deputy’s contempt. You only understand that Shvets is not glancing at his own glass of vodka when you read on.

Page 402 – 2: In Well try, ...” , an apostrophe between “We” and “ll” is missing.

Page 405: The punched, grabbed, and pulled, finally yanking him from the space... A The instead of a They, like on page 290.

Page 421 – 1: “... More than fifty million dollars was stolen. ...” Is that how Americans (or American-speaking Russians, as the speaker was Shvets) speak? I doubt it. It should have been More than fifty million dollars were stolen.

Page 421 – 2: Shvets wanted to get out here with his life... It doesn’t make much sense. I’m pretty sure that it should have been Shvets wanted to get out of there with his life.

Such a long series of mistakes in a “number one bestseller”. This truly is a mass-market paperback. These monopolistic and overbearing publishers are so eager to earn their millions that, despite their resources, they rush books out full of mistakes. What a shame!

This is the second time I list mistakes made by Vince Flynn (see Authors' Mistakes #4).


  1. You forgot the use of "Hurley" instead of "Ridley" on pages 354 and 355.

  2. You are right. Does it mean that there are nitpickers more thorough than I am? :-)

    Well spotted!

    It's comforting to see that there are people who actually read my blog. I get so few comments...