Although I am an avid reader and consider myself pretty well-read, I constantly look at other reviews and wish that I had the insight that others seem to have. Granted, many of the reviews that I look at are from people who have studied literature at college and/or university, but there are many people who just seem to know what they’re talking about. More than I do, anyway. So I decided to start to rectify that and this book came with recommendations from friends.
This book really does start with the basics. I consider myself to be at a pretty low level, a lay reader I guess, and I was able to understand all of this book. I read another book – How Fiction Works – last year, and I found it to be pretty jargon-full, but this book isn’t that at all. Add to that the humour that runs through the writing and this made for a pretty good read.
The sections are well structured and flow easily and he uses examples throughout. Whilst I haven’t read everything that he used, it didn’t impact my understanding of the points he was raising. The style was pretty informal and it didn’t feel like professorial writing at all (except for the few times he actually mentioned that this was how professors think). There’s also a reading list at the back which I’m sure I will work my way through!
Now to attempt to use what I’ve learned… I get the feeling that I will be coming back to this book as a reference for a while!
Source: I bought it
Publisher: Harper, 2003
My Rating: 5 stars