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12 Reviews
5 star:
 (9)
4 star:
 (2)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:    (0)
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Readable.
This book is ideal for people moving beyond English A level who want an introduction to the sometimes baffling world of critical theory. All the major theories are covered in a readable fashion, with easy to understand summaries. A must for anyone intending to study English at university.
Published on 14 Nov 2000 by Mudway

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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Useful Text
This book has some great summary sections which are invaluable when revising and trying to learn key points of each theory. However Barry does tend to 'waffle' a bit in places, sometimes making it difficult to understand and there are some errors in the book itself. But it is definately worth getting for the summaries alone, but make sure it is supported by another text.
Published on 18 Aug 2006 by Ms. S. E. Baker


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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Readable., 14 Nov 2000
This book is ideal for people moving beyond English A level who want an introduction to the sometimes baffling world of critical theory. All the major theories are covered in a readable fashion, with easy to understand summaries. A must for anyone intending to study English at university.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Useful Text, 18 Aug 2006
By 
This book has some great summary sections which are invaluable when revising and trying to learn key points of each theory. However Barry does tend to 'waffle' a bit in places, sometimes making it difficult to understand and there are some errors in the book itself. But it is definately worth getting for the summaries alone, but make sure it is supported by another text.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent introduction to an enormous body of thought., 13 Sep 2001
By A Customer
I found this book very useful as a general overview of areas such as structuralism, poststructuralism, marxist criticism, queer theory etc. Without being patronising or simplistic Peter Barry presents an excellent working guide with points to think about, examples of different types of criticism and suggestions for further reading. Not just for those doing English. It clears up some major mysteries for those outside the area!
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars an excellent introduction/refresher course, 22 Sep 2003
By A Customer
This book provides a great introduction to the world of theory which often confuses first year literature students and puts them off the study of english. It explains, unlike other texts, how the concept of theory emerges. As a postgrad student, I was aware I needed to brush up on the dreaded theory so I picked up this introduction, and was pleasantly surprised. So much more accessible than Rivkin and Ryan!
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 Stars!, 4 Nov 2004
By A Customer
Peter Barry's book is very inspiring to read. I have brought many books to help grasp an understanding on literary theory but I have to say none have explained it quite as well as Peter Barry. Beginning Theory: An Introduction to Literary and Cultural Theory covers a wide range of areas, the language is simplistic and each theory is explained clearly and with examples. I have also gained a much better understanding on how Freudian interpretation works. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!! WORTH EVERY PENNY!!!
Book covers:
Liberal Humanism, Structuralism, Post-structuralism and deconstruction, Postmodernism, Psychoanalytic criticism, Feminist criticism, Lesbian/Gay criticism, Marxist criticism, New historicism and cultural materialism, Postcolonial criticism, Stylistics, Narratology and Ecocriticism.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beginning Theory, 26 Sep 2002
By A Customer
This faithful 'bible' was always my first port of call for all of my critical theory assignments throughout 3 years at university. For a straight answer to questions such as 'What is postmodernism' or 'What Feminist critics do' etc this is a must have book.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, 29 Mar 2006
By A Customer
As a student at Peter Barry's institution, The University of Wales, Aberystwyth I was pleased to find that one of my own tutors had written an accessible alternative to Rivkin and Ryan. This work serves as a fantastic introduction to literary theory and will please beginners and pros alike.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-have book for all English students, 29 Dec 2001
By A Customer
This is great as a reference book for all English students. It is very accessible and covers so much material, and actually makes it interesting!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very useful!, 12 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Beginning theory: An introduction to literary and cultural theory 3rd Edition (Beginnings) (Kindle Edition)
Literary theory has been something I wanted to know more about but previous books I had looked at seemed to have a starting point far beyond what I needed. Peter Barry's book is well written and ideally pitched.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Eminently understandable, 21 Oct 2012
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Robin White (Ashcott) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Beginning theory: An introduction to literary and cultural theory 3rd Edition (Beginnings) (Kindle Edition)
Breaks down the basics of literary theory into easily readable pieces and makes the process of digesting them far simpler than I worried it might be. Was incredibly helpful when going through my undergraduate degree and now that I'm looking at going back to university to begin post-grad and need to refresh my memory, it's coming in very handy. Easily the best theory book I've come across - all of the others I owned at uni I've sold, but not this one.
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