Customer Reviews


12 Reviews
5 star:
 (6)
4 star:
 (4)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, erudite, witty
In this brilliant collection the reader is treated to an eclectic series of small essays on various events in literary history, one for each day of the year, spanning a range of periods, countries, and subjects.

The book opens on January the 1st with a piece on the unusual copyright history of Peter Pan, other days treat of poets, publishers, shipwrecks,...
Published on 12 July 2011 by Eleanor

versus
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars great concept, but....
This is one of those books consisting of a short article on a literary anniversary for every day of the year; I have been reading each day's entry for about the last four months. It's a great concept, but many of the articles are rather banal and cover dates in the lives of minor writers that have only a tenuous link with any of their works; one would think for any given...
Published 19 months ago by John Hopper


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, erudite, witty, 12 July 2011
By 
Eleanor (Oxford, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
In this brilliant collection the reader is treated to an eclectic series of small essays on various events in literary history, one for each day of the year, spanning a range of periods, countries, and subjects.

The book opens on January the 1st with a piece on the unusual copyright history of Peter Pan, other days treat of poets, publishers, shipwrecks, book-burning, modernists, censorship, kings, martyrs, wizards, and much much more. A brief look at the contents page will reveal the great wealth and richness of this book.

Sutherland and Fender write very well, succinctly and clearly elucidating their chosen topic however large or small. I learnt some completely new things, for example Stephen Crane's shipwreck or the bombing of Paternoster Row. The authors, however, also helped me crystallize my thoughts when it came to subjects I was somewhat familiar with, such as deconstructionism or the French poet Villon. Finally the book is a great starting point for further explorations, and I found myself going through underlining interesting-sounding works from known and unknown authors mentioned in the essays.

The short nature of the pieces mean that one can be educated and entertained in the smallest of spare moments, although I often found myself thinking 'Just one more...'.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect present for a true booklover this Christmas, 2 Nov 2010
This book keeps the promise of its subtitle: "Surprising tales from a year in literature".

It will make a perfect Christmas present, or rather "yeres yifte" for the whole of the coming year, to give to someone you esteem highly who really cares about what they read.

Each day's substantial entry has an amusing, witty, self-contained mini-essay on a literary fact relating to that date. It is all verifiable, however unlikely.

I'm a lifelong bookworm, many of whose waking hours over half a century have been spent either reading or thinking about literature, but much of the content of this book was brand new to me, mostly Professor Fender's half dealing with things American: I am a bit eurocentric.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great anthology of bookish essays, 19 Nov 2010
By 
A Common Reader "Committed to reading" (Sussex, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
I have been looking forward to reading Love, Sex, Death and Words for some time, having enjoyed John Sutherland's earlier books like How To Read a Novel and The Curiosities of Literature. This time John Sutherland is joined by Stephen Fender in assembling this huge anthology of essays about writers and books, 365 in fact, one for every day of the year, although few readers will be unable to resist reading on through several articles every time they pick up the book.

There is a comprehensive index at the back of the book, which runs from Peter Abelard to Emile Zola and its fascinating to flick through it and look up references to favourite writers. This is a nice book to have on your shelf - a big thick wedge of over 500 pages.

The book was granted a lengthy review in The Guardian by Rick Gekoski who said, "I've had tremendous fun reading them - arguing with some, substituting others, quoting them over lunch - and pleasure is at the heart of this project. Its irresistible, as compulsive as eating popcorn".

I can't help thinking that Love, Sex, Death and Words would make a much appreciated Christmas present for any avid reader.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not ready for Kindle, 13 May 2012
By 
I get very excited when a book I'm interested in is offered as the Kindle Daily Deal. This books sounds fantastic so I very quickly bought it. Glancing through, I can tell that the content is, as expected, very good, exactly what I would want, but a book like this is not necessarily meant to be read in order. This is where the problem comes in. The index is at the end (as would be expected in a print book). Thank goodness I have the "touch" version of the kindle so I can fairly quickly get to the end, but I can't just "jump" to it. The biggest disappointment is that the index does not have "links" to take you to the page. So, for example, if I see by the index that I want to read the entry for May 17th, I have to either manually page back to it or do a search. This is cumbersome and I believe a book such as this, if sold for kindle, needs to use kindle features.

I'm giving the book 4 stars because I see that amazon includes kindle reviews with other reviews and it wouldn't be fair to detract from the authors, as it does appear to be an excellent book if in print form. It's too cumbersome for me to read it the way I normally would on the kindle. I suppose I can just start at the beginniing and read sequentially but that isn't how I would have to approach it in print form.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 365 Literary Tales, 11 Mar 2012
By 
Brian R. Martin (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Love, Sex, Death and Words: Surprising Tales from a Year in Literature (Paperback)
This is an anthology of short literary pieces, usually a page or two in length. There are 365 of them, one for each day of the year, and the date is the peg on which the entries hang. So, starting with 1 January, we are told the extraordinary circumstances of how, by Act of Parliament, the copyright of `Peter Pan' was assigned in perpetuity to Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children. To give you some idea of the very wide range of entries, those for the birthdays of my family are on: the death of Publius Vergilius Maro (Virgil) in 19BC, before completing the Aeneid; how Dickens, Marx and Mrs. Gaskell all commented on the Victorian labour dispute of 1853 known as the Great Preston Lockout; and how in 1966 it was revealed that the CIA had been a major financial backer of Encounter magazine, funneling its money in secret through a charitable organization called the Fairfield Foundation. The entries are often (predictably) idiosyncratic, but unfailingly informative, invariably well written, and frequently amusing and witty. You can read the book in several ways: chronologically as printed; dip into it at dates that are special for you; or browse the comprehensive index of names and read the entries that result. It is a delightful book, and I am sure that, like me, you will find yourself compiling a list of items for further reading.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars great concept, but...., 20 Sep 2012
By 
John Hopper (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is one of those books consisting of a short article on a literary anniversary for every day of the year; I have been reading each day's entry for about the last four months. It's a great concept, but many of the articles are rather banal and cover dates in the lives of minor writers that have only a tenuous link with any of their works; one would think for any given date that a better example might be found. On a purely subjective note, there have been rather too many minor American authors covered to hold my interest on some dates. I shall keep reading, though. 3/5
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for kindle, 13 May 2012
By 
titania 299 (Manchester, England) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
After reading a previous review commenting that this book has not been optimised for kindle I must disagree. When you open a book in kindle they always start at the beginning of the main body of the text. If you go to the front of the book there is an index with embedded links to all 365 essays. Also kindle enables the reader to "jump" to the cover, main index etc.

As to the content of the text - highly impressed thus far.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great fun for holidays..and your Kindle !, 30 July 2012
By 
R. Moore "Ros Moore" (Wellingborough England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is the ideal book if you are on a long journey, as you can read a chapter at a time, and have no need to remember the previous plot! It is is well researched, and extremely funny ! Each chapter deals with a different day, so you get 365 different tales! non of which are boring..thank goodness.
I have it on my Kindle it was one of the great "offers" that we have been getting from Amazon.
I like this type of book as I really do like to read when I am eating my breakfast/lunch etc. (Much better than the TV!) though I doubt my late mother would have approved at all!
So if you fancy a good read that you can "dip" in to when you have a few minutes to spare then this is the book for you, its witty, well researched and very funny.
Happy reading ..Ros
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1.0 out of 5 stars Nope!!, 10 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Wasn't at all what I was expecting, was a deal of the day, so not something I would usually buy. And I should not have on this occasion. Learnt the lesson!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Delightful, 18 July 2012
This review is from: Love, Sex, Death and Words: Surprising Tales from a Year in Literature (Paperback)
This was a real surprise of a book. Despite its academic knowledge and frequently critical approach, this is light, entertaining and fascinating as well as thought provoking. The snippets of writers' lives are well selected for their human interest value and sense of cultural and historical importance.

As it works chronologically through the year, I have been reading it day by day. It is a perfect way to accompany my coffee and toast. Each episode is just a few pages long and always leaves me with something to smile or think about.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First
ARRAY(0xb0835dec)

This product

Love, Sex, Death and Words: Surprising Tales from a Year in Literature
9.89
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews