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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Introduction
Peter Barry's introduction to literary critical theory is essential to A-Level students who are thinking about going onto study English Literature in higher education. Barry successfully breaks down difficult elements of theory into bite-size sections, complete with examples.

The main structure of the guide is split into various critical theories:...
Published on 29 Feb 2012 by E.V. Hallett

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2 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Ergh!
So hard and very boring to read! I had to buy it for my uni course it really isn't great!
Published on 21 Sep 2010 by Amazon Customer


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Introduction, 29 Feb 2012
This review is from: Beginning theory (third edition): An introduction to literary and cultural theory (Beginnings) (Paperback)
Peter Barry's introduction to literary critical theory is essential to A-Level students who are thinking about going onto study English Literature in higher education. Barry successfully breaks down difficult elements of theory into bite-size sections, complete with examples.

The main structure of the guide is split into various critical theories:

1. Liberal Humanism
2. Structuralism
3. Post-structuralism
4. Post-modernism
5. Psychoanalytic criticism
6. Feminist criticism
7. Lesbian / gay criticism
8. Marxist criticism
9. New historicism and cultural materialism
10. Postcolonial criticism
11. Stylistics
12. Narratology
13. Ecocriticism

What is good about this book:

* Each theory is broken down into several fundamental points
* Barry gives examples of the practical use of such theory
* His 'stop and think' sections ask multiple choice questions about the theory, to test and extend one's knowledge
* He provides a lists in each section for further reading
* He is objective

One of the simplest theory books ever published, excellent for beginners, yet detailed enough to see one through a first year theory course at university (plus a few of his reading suggestions). An essential investment!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gentle approach for all new to theory, 1 Sep 2010
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This review is from: Beginning theory (third edition): An introduction to literary and cultural theory (Beginnings) (Paperback)
Even if you hated anything philosophical at school, this is a book you'll pick up again and again. A good book to learn the basics of any social and philosophical theory of the modern - or rather postmodern - world; and to make you want to read more about the one or the other idea. The book also recommends selected further reading to guide you throught the jungle of sophisticated material on the market. Great as a background for any studies, particularly media or art studies, but also just to refresh some ideas behind some of the great names of this and last century.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent introduction to Literary theory, 31 July 2013
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This review is from: Beginning theory (third edition): An introduction to literary and cultural theory (Beginnings) (Paperback)
This book could not be more straight forward, easy and enjoyable to read. For an 18 year old in their first year at Uni doing Eng lit it is priceless. For anyone else who is interested in some of the philosophical motivations behind literary theoretical approaches I would also recommend it. A wonderful, comprehensive overview.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Required reading at University, 27 Feb 2012
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This review is from: Beginning theory (third edition): An introduction to literary and cultural theory (Beginnings) (Paperback)
If you are doing any form of literary study that requires an understanding of theory read this book before any others. It makes sense and doesn't over complicate an already complex subject. It should be on all primary reading lists not the additional reading list.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars clear, concise and very readable., 18 Sep 2011
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Andrew Cowie "acowie" (Birmingham, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Beginning theory (third edition): An introduction to literary and cultural theory (Beginnings) (Paperback)
This is an excellent introduction to and overview of critical theory. You can use it to either jump in and read a chapter on an area of interest but it also works as a comprehensive and coherent history of critical thought if you read the whole thing through from page one. Highly recommended.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfection, 18 April 2010
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Jake Tuner (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Beginning theory (third edition): An introduction to literary and cultural theory (Beginnings) (Paperback)
I was required to buy this book for my English BA module on critical theory. Beginning Theory unlike most other theory books takes you from the basics to a more advanced level and is refreshingly readable. I honestly don't think I would understand half of the things I do now about literary theory without it. It is infinitely useful, highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An exceptional introduction, 6 May 2012
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This review is from: Beginning theory (third edition): An introduction to literary and cultural theory (Beginnings) (Paperback)
I have read several introductory books into critical theory and contemporary philosophy; I would say that this book is by far the best.
It turns an otherwise impenetrable subject for the layman into an easy, pleasant read.
It provides a balance between theory and practise, thus explicating how theoretical frameworks are practically implemented.
All in all, an invaluable introduction into the thinking of the last decades, that you could subsequently use in your reading of 'narratives' or 'discourses' that suround us. I have found it especially helpful in thinking critically about films.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 13 July 2014
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This review is from: Beginning theory (third edition): An introduction to literary and cultural theory (Beginnings) (Paperback)
For uni
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5.0 out of 5 stars Love the product, 24 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Beginning theory (third edition): An introduction to literary and cultural theory (Beginnings) (Paperback)
Love the price, speed of delivery and the condition of the product- if only Peter Barry weren't forced down my throat every Wednesday morning I'd love the book too.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beginning theory, 26 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Beginning theory (third edition): An introduction to literary and cultural theory (Beginnings) (Paperback)
This is avery clear and helpful introduction to a range of critical approaches and i found it helpful for introducing Sixth Formers to them. The 'What ....sists do' and examples sections made the ideas really accessible.
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