Under the headline, "Cross-X educational but boring," critic Kaely Moore writes:
Don't pick [Cross-X] up for a bit of light reading unless you're an insomniac and are looking for a new way to fall asleep.
it is sorely lacking in entertainment. Perhaps because Miller is a journalist, his book is written in a relatively journalistic style. It's almost like a documentary, with no real feeling, no deep emotion, no true heart to his story. What's the fun of reading 480 pages that sound exactly like a newspaper?
Counting how many times Miller used the word "bureaucrat" (at least 17) was more fun than reading the rest of the book. Cross-X tells the stories of individual people, of their struggles and aspirations in the field of debate, but it doesn't really say anything about who they really are.
Call it karmic retribution, from back in the day when I'd load a blank sheet of paper in the old type writer and just go off. Kaely's an Express reporter cut from the same cloth as me!
Fist up for disaffected suburban youth!!
(BTW, they did also run a real nice article by Alan Dicker, who, judging from his story, actually read the book.)