I took a lot of things away from this book, but the most overwhelming thing was that everyone is human. I’m my harshest critic; sometimes I make silly mistakes and get angry with myself for messing up the correct AP style of “a.m.”. Even a prestigious newspaper like The New York Times makes mistakes then I should not get upset with myself about messing up either. The learning process is important and part of the way we learn is by making mistakes. Some mistakes that they made I would not even make, for example, on November 19, 2000, they stated Napoleon was a peasant, which simply isn’t the case, he’s the son of a nobleman, this mistake in particular is quite interesting, because it leads me to believe the writer did not ever bother to look up the information. That just seems rushed and lazy; a simple Google search or textbook hunt would have presented the proper information. If The New York Times writers and editors cannot look up the correct origins of Napoleon then I think it is okay for me to make mistakes too.
Another lesson I took away from the novel was writing is not easy. It seems simple enough to write a report about Kwame’s situation in Detroit. The aspects that come to mind seem easy: convince the public of Kwame’s affair with his chief of staff, prove he is stealing money from the city and tell of how he unlawfully fired a police officer. After reading the book I’m more weary, firstly is it legal to publish the information? I mean after all it did come from Kwame’s cell-phone record. The information could be false; I could make a mistake about how much money is stolen, etc. It is not a simple process and Kill Duck Before Serving really outlines that process. It is difficult to write stories correctly and they require a lot of care and patience. To make sure I don’t end up in the next edition of Kill Duck Before Serving I need to be careful and double check all my facts so 2 planes crashing into something doesn’t accidentally turn into 20, or 200.
Kill Duck Before Serving really just displays how difficult writing can be. It makes me feel better about writing, if The New York Times can have 172 pages printed of mistakes they’ve made then it is all right for an aspiring journalist like myself to make mistake too. The novel really helps keep ones spirits up and entertain a reader too.