Rob Smith's Reviews > Sunshine in the Dark: Florida in the Movies

Sunshine in the Dark by Susan J. Fernandez
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Jul 13, 13

bookshelves: read-2007
Read in February, 2007

If you want to be in the dark about movies in Florida, read this book. It is, as I noted in 2007, 'Horrible'.

Authors Fernandez and Ingalls are swinging a mighty large political stick throughout the book hoping to hit any reader over the head about her viewpoints. That would be fine IF the book was labeled as such. The book is supposedly about movies in Florida. In that I've written and studied the subject, the authors are missing huge amounts of Florida film history. This is covered by the author's claim to take 300 films made in Florida to examine. So, they take 300 hundred films on or about Florida to drape their viewpoint around and ignore thousands of others. In many areas that is considered setting up the mark.

My copy is filled with notes of inaccuracies. What makes this so horrible is that the inaccuracies fuel too much of the author's errant views and then conclusions. If the author's had bothered to expand their sample, actually study, or more importantly, watch many of the films, they might have caught themselves from the free fall. Then again, maybe not. They seem to have such a chip on their shoulder, I don't know if facts would really concern them to get their political view point out.

The writing is so-so. Editing problems make a judgement of writing a hard call.

There was obvious trouble editing this book. Many, many times whole ideas and nearly exact wording is repeated. The authors are really hung up about racism and here's where they really lose control. They point out over and over and over and over again their view that the same movie is racist in different parts of the book. UPF, the publishers, aren't known for as bad a job as this. I have to wonder if the author's personality or some such had to do with the outcome of this book.

This is one of the worst books I've ever read, which is a mighty large charge to lay down. The authors have academic credentials in this area and should know better. Worse, there are TWO authors. Why didn't one stop the other? I could, and have, rationalized that a book is bad due to self-publishing, the era it is written and the like. There's no excuse for how bad this book is.

If this book was titled that it is a book of two professor's personal editorial comment about the movie industry in Florida, I'd be fine that the intent was presented. Instead this book is advertised as Florida film history and the industry's effects to the state. It kinda is, but what little is included is baked in an ongoing angry commentary that is braced by a small sample of selected films. I still remember reading this from 2007 and how frustrated I got that this even got published that it stays with me today. Looking at the notes I made, I'm rattled further. Why would two people work so hard to be inept? A kind of bigotry comes to mind. If I could mark this with a '0' or less, I would.

This book is terrible and should be avoided.
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