Bill Veeck by Paul Dickson: a short review

An absolutely terrific biography, obviously well researched and equally well written. Although this book is a favorable portrait, it clearly shows the man’s flaws. Highly recommended, though I’m sure some will disagree, as Veeck remains a controversial figure.

I bought my copy of this book as a Google Play ebook, and need to comment on that edition. Google offers this book is only as a PDF. I expect this is also true of the Nook and Kindle editions, though neither retailer suggests anything unusual in their book descriptions. I found reading the book in PDF form on my Android tablet fairly painful, as I’ve grown accustomed to adjusting the fonts to accommodate my aging eyes. It’s far from clear that avoiding the now-common epub format brought any significant gain to anyone.

My initial guess was that the publishers had chosen to use PDF because they wanted to control presentation, probably because of the book’s image content. Except that explanation doesn’t hold water, as the PDF contains just two photographs (one of them repeated). Since the index lists 41 images, it’s clear that the actual decision was to cut most of the pictures from the ebook. This is seriously annoying, and this note is my complaint. (For whatever it’s worth, there is a similar complaint in a review of the Nook edition on the Barnes and Noble website.) The publishers, Walker & Company of New York, should be ashamed.

This review has also been published on LibraryThing.