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Customer Review

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The laypersons guide to the novel., 27 Oct. 2008
This review is from: How Novels Work (Paperback)
This book is aimed directly at the interested reader as opposed to the scholar and works better for it. Of course, some will want deeper links to literary theory and a gretaer range of discussion but if, like so many, you read novels for pleasure as opposed to study and simply wish to know a little more as to how writers create the effects and emotions they do, then this is the book for you.

John Mullan does a superb job of guiding you through certain techniques used by writers to present their stories. Any complex theories are alluded to in clear, understandable language. For some this may dilute the quality but again, this book is aimed at the more 'general reader' who is perhaps less interested in the complexities of the theory itself and more interested in why the novels they read work as they do.

I would recommend this to any reader of fiction who is perplexed at how writers are able to move us as they do.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 2 Feb 2009 20:06:22 GMT
Why is "pleasure... OPPOSED to study"? There is such a thing as study for pleasure.
I get fed up of people who think that all learning has to take place under the
imprimatur of a curriculum or a syllabus. I read what academics have to say about the literature I admire, and they sometimes help to clarify and develop my own ideas. That is study for the enhancement of pleasure. I'm a reader, not a "layperson".

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Oct 2009 18:02:55 BDT
Drambuster says:
Pleasure need not be opposed to study. The point here is that this book allows such study to be pleasurable and les dense than many literary theory works. I don't believe learning does need to be under the auspices of a curriculum. However, the style of learning may be different depending on the target audience, as it is here.

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Apr 2010 15:31:12 BDT
Simone says:
A very good review! Thank you!
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