Interested in Language
once and for all I'd like to know if, talking about the content of a book/story/film etc...it is possible to say: The story/book tells about.....
I think it is wrong, as you need the person you are talking to (the story tells us about...). Otherwise it is better to say "the story is about..." or The story deals with...". Am I wrong?
Please... tell me about it!
Thank you, I 'm relieved!
I'd say it's not very common rather than wrong. COCA has two citations for 'story tells about', seventeen for 'story tells of', three for 'book tells about', and four for 'book tells of'.
It is not essential to have an object after 'tell'. When the subject is a person, it's not uncommon to hear such things as 'My grandfather often told of his experiences in Africa at the end of the nineteenth century'. COCA has many citations - 'of' is more common than 'about'.