Books : reviews

Keith Houston.
Shady Characters: the secret life of punctuation, symbols and other typographical marks.
Norton. 2013

In Shady Characters, Keith Houston weaves a fascinating trail through the nooks and crannies of typographical history, from the Library of Alexandria to the halls of Bell Labs. Whether investigating the annotating duo of asterisk (*) and dagger (†); the plucky pilcrow (¶) and humble ampersand (&); or the at sign (@) and octothorpe (#), both newly reinvigorated by the Internet, Shady Characters will delight all who cherish the unpredictable and surprising in the writing life.