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Nabokov's Favourite Word Is Mauve: The literary quirks and oddities of our most-loved authors Paperback – 8 Feb 2018

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (8 Feb. 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1471152839
  • ISBN-13: 978-1471152832
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.1 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 226,571 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


'What fun this is! Ben Blatt’s charming book applies numerical know-how to questions of literary style, teasing out insights about cliffhangers, adverbs'  (Jordan Ellenberg, author of How Not to Be Wrong)

'Ben Blatt’s delightful book gives us an original big data perspective on great writers’ work. Its humour, insights and statistical displays are fascinating to behold, even as it helps us develop our own writing'  (Carl N. Morris, Professor Emeritus of Statistics, Harvard University)

‘It was statisticians, rather than historians, who cracked the centuries’ old mystery of the Federalist Papers—and they did it with mere paper and pencil. Operating in the same investigative spirit—and with the benefit of vastly more powerful tools—Ben Blatt probes the literary canon for unexpected revelations and insights. The result is a literary detective story: fast-paced, thought-provoking, and intriguing. In Nabokov’s Favorite Word is Mauve we learn what separates authors’ great works from their lesser ones, how our literary tastes have changed over the years, and, charmingly, whether some of the writers most prone to dispensing literary advice actually practice what they preach.’ (Brian Christian, co-author of Algorithms to Live By)

'Illuminating entertainment ... Literary criticism by the numbers' (Kirkus Reviews)

'Amiable and intelligent ... literature enthusiasts will enjoy the hypotheses [Blatt] poses and his imaginative methods' (Publishers Weekly)

'[A] fun and interesting book ... his breezy and engaging volume fulfills its promise to provide the reader with an appreciation or deeper understanding of an author or favorite writer ... and alerts the writer to the trends, patterns and uses of grammar, vocabulary and punctuation in one's own writing' (New Romanticist)

'Enlightening' (Wall Street Journal)

'Nate Silver-esque number crunching meets the canon in this quirky, arresting deconstruction of literature's greatest hits' (O, The Oprah Magazine)

'Fascinating ... the book had me humming with pleasure' (The Sunday Times)

'Delivers a statistical study of literature in the vein of Freakonomics ... [Blatt] approaches the subject with the right mix of humour, hand-holding and literary love ... yield[s] insights which would be impossible to recognize on their own' (Paste Magazine)

About the Author

Ben Blatt is a staff writer for Slate, where he has garnered a solid fan following with articles including 'Text Analysis of the Hunger Games' and 'Which Friends were the Closest Friends?' (see included links in the proposal). He is a recent Harvard graduate and a Harvard Lampoon alumnus. Grove released his first book, I Don't Care If We Never Get Back: 30 Games in 30 Days on the Best Worst Baseball Road Trip Ever, co-written with Eric Brewster, this spring - a humorous account of their road trip to all 30 Major League Baseball parks that Ben designed via computer algorithm:

3 customer reviews

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25 March 2018
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
23 March 2017
Format: Hardcover
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7 October 2017
Format: Kindle Edition
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com

Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars 38 reviews
Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 starsFascinating, surprising, funny, and page-turning literature analysis book!
20 March 2017 - Published on Amazon.com
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23 people found this helpful.
Quatermass Lives
5.0 out of 5 starsAll hail the Great Automatic Grammatizator
17 April 2017 - Published on Amazon.com
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David Roher
5.0 out of 5 starsHighly recommended for young and/or technical writers
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Delta D.
3.0 out of 5 starsMy interest faded in chapter two... yours may not
11 July 2017 - Published on Amazon.com
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