I recently finished reading a book which had something like five pages of author's acknowlegements. Getting a book into print is seldom a solo effort. There are certainly some people who go above and beyond, and possibly deserve some extra recognition. But five pages would seem to be taking it too far. This author stopped just short of thanking his primary school dinner lady. Nearly everyone the author went to university with got a mention. I wasn't clear how they had contributed to the book in question. But I could see how they might contribute to his future career. In fact, a lot of people named in the acknowledgements might come in useful at some future date. And that was surely what this exercise in excessive gratitude was all about. Most people like to see a favourable mention of themselves in print. Author acknowlegements are becoming more and more like Hollywood Oscar acceptance speeches. Such cynical careerism must erode the value of the thanks supposedly being expressed.