A few of my letter-loving friends read The Missing Ink: The Lost Art of Handwriting, so I decided to give this short book a go. I have to thank Hensher for his humorous tone in his book. This is a subject that could very easily be a complete bore to read, but his funny footnotes and quips made this short book easy to read. Despite his light tone, I was happy to finish this book.
The only bits I found worth reading were the introduction, the chapter about the evolution of the pen nib, and the conclusion. The other chapters felt a bit forced, much like filler. Hensher includes interludes between some chapters called "witness," which are interviews with people able how they learn writing and similar topics. The "Witness" sections threw me off a bit and I ended-up skipping them toward the end of the book.
The interviews in the "Witness" parts were just snippets of a full conversation, which would be fine if Hensher gave us any context to the conversation and did not remove some of the interviewers prompts. Any information that may help one differentiate multiple speakers was given at the end. This manner of presenting the interviews stripped the speakers of any personality which left me not caring a pip about their thoughts. If he included a sample of their handwriting, so the reader could at least see what they were talking about (and perhaps have a glimpse into their personalities), this would have vastly improved the "Witness" interludes between the chapters. This book wavers between 2.5 to 3 stars for me, but I am glad I read it