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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
5

on 14 October 2008
I read a one-star review of this book on Amazon.com that claimed Egri's earlier book "The Art of Dramatic Writing" made this book "redundant" and that it was "suprisingly vague, wishy-washy rehash of the same material". Egri's previous book - "The Art of Dramatic Writing" - was a crystal-clear explanation of his three key elements of playwriting: Premise, Character, and Conflict, so something about this comment didn't quite ring true. I decided to get my own copy of "The Art of Creative Writing" and make up my own mind. I'm very glad I did. This is anything but a "vague, wishy-washy rehash of the same material."

"The Art of Creative Writing" appeared in 1965 - two years before Egri's death in 1967 at the age of 79. In this book he expands in great detail on his vital second key element of playwriting: Character. This book really turns up the microscope on character development and human motivation, and it does so with the same crystal-clear clarity of his earlier book. A 30-page appendix puts Egri's detailed advice on character development back into the wider context explained in "The Art of Dramatic Writing". But rather than being a "rehash" of earlier material you will find this summary of "The Art of Dramatic Writing" useful. One of the few flaws in "Dramatic Writing" was its lack of a "bullet point" summary.

For many years Egri earned his living as a teacher of playwriting in New York (the Egri School of Writing). One of his students during the 1950s was later to become world famous: the Hollywood writer/actor/director Woody Allen. I suspect "The Art of Creative Writing" contains what Egri taught would-be playwrights like Allen who, having read "The Art of Dramatic Writing", turned up for his two-hour evening classes. They, like me, were eager to learn more about the true secret of good playwriting: creating believable, living, breathing characters. In "The Art of Creative Writing" Egri finally revealed the fruits of his lifetime's work: the very essence of what brings a fictional character to life.
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on 2 January 2002
I have read my fair share of books on how to write a good story, and this one takes the prize. Egris book was a milestone for me, one that will be reread until the pages fall apart. Egris writing is sublimely intelligent, and he manages to inspire as he takes you through his art.
The back cover reads that Egris books are used as textbooks at universities like Stanford, Harvard and NYU. No wonder!!!
You will be inspired to do better writing, I promise!
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on 17 June 2014
This is one of the best book's that I have read on writing, it gets to the point and can read it again and again.
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on 12 September 2016
Beautifully written, very insightful and together with his other book "The Art of Dramatic Writing" is a real help in understanding craft behind a good story/book/theater production.
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on 28 December 2014
This used to be a hard to get book. Thank goodness that for followers of Christopher Vogler it has been reprinted.
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