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Good read but pity about the cartoons
on 29 September 2012
As many reviewers have already testified, this is a very useful book for aspiring fiction writers hoping to get into print. The advice is generally sound, and the examples of what or what not to do are mostly clear and well-chosen. At the price, its excellent value for money.
A couple of minor criticisms. The book is written - perhaps to some degree unconsciously - for North American readers and possibly even a particular class of reader. That's not to accuse the book of snobbery, or even exclusiveness, but there's a lingering sense that something is missing.
The well-hammered points about the changing tastes in literary styles are not to be ignored, but don't necessarily apply equally all places, all traditions nor all genres. Examples abound of writers who have done the opposite of what the authors recommend, and pulled it off.
As for the cartoons, they are desperately poor - poky drawings accompanied by captions that resemble the lost wanderings of a dwarf species of spider - a kind of visual example of prose that is so bad you don't even attempt to read what it has to say. Oops.