Most helpful critical review
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
`The house of fiction has many windows but only two or three doors.'
on 24 May 2010
The title attracted my attention: I know what I like when I read it, but I don't always stop to analyse how it works, or even why. I also wondered, as I made a decision to read, whether a book of less than 300 pages could address this to my satisfaction.
I found the book interesting. Far from attempting definitive answers, Professor Wood poses a set of questions to consider as part of critical reading. Consider the following:
`What do we mean when we say we `know' a fictional character?'
`What constitutes a `telling' detail?'
`When is a metaphor successful?'
`Why do most endings of novels disappoint?'
Professor Wood covers the narrative and style of a range of different authors, including Homer, Austen, Woolf, Bellow, Beatrix Potter, Coetzee, Le Carre and Pynchon.
For me, this book is a starting point rather than a destination. I enjoyed the writing, didn't always share the conclusions and would like to consider further some of the other forms of fiction apart from novels.