13 Ways of Looking at the Novel Paperback – 12 Sep 2006
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Frequently bought together
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
"Engaging. . . . Down-to-earth. . . . Smiley's unmediated voice-blunt, uncompromising and witty-rings from every page. . . . She inspires wicked delight." -Los Angeles Times Book Review
"A massive victory. . . . Awfully smart. . . . Always a pleasure." -The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"Provocative. . . . Wise and humane. . . . It reminds readers of the novel why they love their avocation. . . . I most heartily recommend it." -Marjorie Kehe, The Christian Science Monitor
"Thorough, insightful. . . . Sure to inspire delicious debate and excite interest in undiscovered works. . . . Her critiques are shrewd, artful and unflinching. . . . Thirteen Ways continues to whisper its profundities long after the last page is turned." -Rocky Mountain News
About the Author
Jane Smiley is the author of numerous novels, including A Thousand Acres, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, and most recently, Golden Age, the concluding volume of The Last Hundred Years trilogy. She is also the author of five works of nonfiction and a series of books for young adults. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, she has also received the PEN Center USA Lifetime Achievement Award for Literature. She lives in Northern California.
Customers who bought this item also bought
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
I hope you find my review helpful.
To get the carping over first, I have to say that towards the end the reviews became randomly idiosyncratic and a little patchy. She is condescending to David Lodge, insulting to Ian McEwan and from out of nowhere chooses a novel because her daughter gave it to her on holiday (Jennifer Egan's Look at Me). But Smiley is not an academic (though she does teach) and might be excused a lack of rigour. It must have been a hell of a commitment to read 100 novels (it took her three years) and to give her considerable intelligence to the task of writing about them.
I like her novels a lot, so I am happy to let her tell me what it is about novel reading and writing that she believes is important. She comes up with much that is highly engaging and interesting and I found reading about books I have not heard of, or which I haven't considered reading myself, was both instructive and, sometimes, provoking. I would put her critical abilities fairly high, though she can be rather flattening when it comes to assessing relative merits, one against another. She doesn't often fall into `either/or' judgements, however and is mostly lively and committed. This is, in fact, a very good read (though at 570 pages it is not a light undertaking for the average reader).
Two chapters are devoted to this hands-on advice. The rest of the (rather bulky and unwieldy) book contains general musings on fiction writing, some interesting background on how she wrote her own novels, and plot synopses and musings on 100 novels, ranging from Jane Austen to Nancy Mitford. The last is quite interesting but doesn't quite fit in with the rest of the book.