1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Brilliant, bitchy but not always the best,
This review is from: Aspects of the Novel (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
I'd rather not quibble over stars...this book gets one less from me only in comparison with even more useful books like John Gardner's ON BECOMING A NOVELIST, which is considerably tighter. Forster's book is a kind of literary bed spread, a sprawl of spirit that sometimes wanders off in search of itself, alas in vain. I know that I am reserved also because one of my favorite novelist, Henry James, gets a bit of a beating...I understand why of course but I still must punish Mr Forster, the purveyor of stern stereotyping as far as James is concerned...still, like the books by Brande, Gardner, King on writing, I regularly return to this one, easy as it is to skip some of the bitchier passages. Just like with these other books, the author's own weaknesses as a writer come theough in his assessments though his take on issues of craft is always lucid and valuable: Forster's canvas was limited, in this he reminds me of another, Nabokov, whose criticism is as nasty as it is narrow...but this is for another review, I suppose.