Customer Review

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wise reflections on the power of stories, 11 Jan. 2011
This review is from: The Rights of the Reader (Paperback)
This is a very engaging read. I read it quickly in a couple of sittings. It isn't dense in style - it is light and playful in many ways, aided by Quentin Blake's excellent line drawings, and a very readable, flowing translation by Sarah Adams. However, the insights within the book about our attitudes to reading are very thoughtful and wise, especially in the adult anxiety about our children's attitude to reading when compared to their attitude to electronic media of various kinds. The book certainly re-energised my own reading again after a quiet lapse into non-reading, or rather a thin reading of non-fiction only. This book helped to me to remember once again the wonder of stories and made me realise that I had missed that deep immersion in a tale for its own sake. Pennac's experiences with recalcitrant adolescent readers and how he switches them on to reading are a little optimistic, I feel, at times. I can't quite believe that a story will unlock every adolescent mind as it lurks behind its walls of testosterone, anger and resentment. The book is not an educational textbook on reading; it is more a reflection on the power and importance of stories. The ten rights of the reader, which come towards the end of the book, are precisely right, and rather than being a set of commandments they actually are a set of axioms that set you free as a reader to approach (and leave) any story in any way you like.
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4.6 out of 5 stars (15 customer reviews)
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