read the book on someone

Garin

Senior Member
Czech - Czechia
Hello, everyone!
In a comic book I am translating, a private investigator is searching for a girl who was presumed dead. It turns out, though, that she is alive and hiding under different identity. The private eye says: "You read the book on this woman and you gotta admire her."
The thing is he did not read any book, just some private records and such. Could it be idiomatic? Is he saying that getting to know her better he has to admire her?
 
  • Franco-filly

    Senior Member
    English - Southern England
    Is he saying that getting to know her better he has to admire her?
    Yes "If this woman's life were to be written about in a book, (and you read it) you would have to admire her"
    In other words, with each snippet of information he discovers about her, the more he is impressed with what she had done/been through.
     

    se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    From the OED

    Book, 14. U.S. Sport. Accumulated knowledge or experience of an opposing player or team's performance, strengths, weaknesses, etc. Also in extended use: the relevant facts about something; inside knowledge, the lowdown.
    1952 N.Y. Times 31 Dec. 18/7 ‘They didn't have no weaknesses,’ growled Yogi... ‘We had the book on every hitter and we'd gone over them thoroughly.’
    1955 R. Graziano & R. Barber Somebody up there likes Me ii. 120 Back in the Tombs, they gave me the book on this joint, Coxackie.
    1971 Boys' Life Mar. 66/2 As a scorer, the Goose had one weakness: He always tried to be the perfectionist... Goalies had the ‘book’ on him.
    1985 E. Leonard Glitz 55 You could always deal with guys at the top. But little guys with wild hairs up their ass, there was no book on guys like that.
    2012 J. Roenick J.R.: My Life as the most Outspoken Man in Hockey 271 As a shooter, I had no book on him. You would shoot high, and he would throw up a glove or pad and stop you.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    "You read the book on this woman and you gotta admire her."

    I just wanted to point out that "read" here is present tense and there is an implicit "when" at the beginning.

    (When) you read the book on this woman [find out the facts of her life] you gotta [have to/can't help but] admire her.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top