The Novel Cure: An A to Z of Literary Remedies Paperback – 3 Sep 2015
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"Brilliant . . . A perfect gift" (Vogue)
"Witty, engaging and informative, The Novel Cure is for anyone who loves reading. It's the sort of book you choose for a friend and end up wanting to keep. My advice would be to buy two" (RACHEL JOYCE author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry)
"Witty, warm and wise, I loved this book within moments of dipping in and know I shall be returning to it for a long time to come. It's a wonderful reminder of the restorative power of fiction and ideal for anyone who has ever wondered what on earth to read next" (SJ WATSON author of Before I Go to Sleep)
"The Novel Cure is a tonic in itself. It's tempting to become a hypochondriac just to read more" (DAMIAN BARR author of Maggie & Me)
"An exuberant pageant of literary fiction and a celebration of the possibilities of the novel" (Guardian)
"Astute and often amusing . . . a charming addition to any library. Time spent leafing through its pages is inspiring - even therapeutic" (The Economist)
"Wonderful . . . A really great gift for anyone who needs a literary pick-me-up" (Mumsnet)
"We're hooked" (Psychologies)
"This book is a great way to broaden your literary horizons - and an entertaining read in its own right" (The Lady)
"[An] amazing book . . . I suspect it is one that many a reader will want to own and keep to hand for every eventuality. Books about books are always a treat, I have a shelf full of them, but The Novel Cure is different, much more than that and I can see how useful it will be" (dovegreyreader.com)
A quirky popular reference book for literature lovers weary in brain and body and in need of a novel cure . . .See all Product description
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Most people reviewing the book on Amazon seem to like it. I think I only read one review that gives it a negative rating based on the book being a little shallow and not to the customer’s taste. I can see what they mean. For if they wanted a more authoritative read, then this isn’t the book for you. It offers a light-hearted approach and I must admit I did read some of the extracts thinking: Hmm... I’m not so sure about this! I was also slightly disappointed that I could not find any reference to John Braine’s books (e.g., Room at the Top and Life at the Top).
Nor did I see any reference to Sick Heart River, a book by John Buchan that certainly would fit easily into The Novel Cure. This book—a classic in my view—shows the character, Sir Edward Leithen, after finding out towards the end of his life that he is dying, goes off on a journey and against all odds succeeds. But this is not a novel about pure adventure and bravado filling one’s final days; it is a novel with so much more. In fact, I’m quite certain that if Ella Berthoud had known of John Buchan’s final novel it would almost certainly have been included within the text. Maybe in a future updated edition it will be.
But I’m not being quite fair here. The fact that a few novels that I admire are not included is not really a big deal. One must remember that books like The Novel Cure can always be criticised for missing out the odd book here and there, and not including everyone’s favourite books. (Though I do think Sick Heart River would have fitted the criteria used in The Novel Cure very well.)
I should say that the summaries of the novels contained in the book are all very well written. Within a few hundred words you have a fairly good idea about the novel discussed. And leaving apart the “cure” bit, these summaries certainly give you an insight into the “themes” of the novel—themes that you may not have been totally aware of before reading Ella Berthoud’s The Novel Cure, which is an entertaining read and a book I would certainly recommend.
A similar book that I would also recommend is Simon Mason’s Rough Guide to Classic Novels. Like The Novel Cure, this book is also written in a very clear and understandable way, introducing the reader to many novels and insights within them. Unfortunately, the book (the last time I looked) is not available on kindle, which is a shame, as my copy of the book is now looking rather shabby and needs replacing. I hope you find my review useful.
then decided was far better to be excited I've still got them to read! Dive in you won't regret it!