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on 8 May 2017
After hearing many recommendations of this book, I recently caved in and treated myself (it didn't take much persuasion). The rave reviews proved to be very well deserved.

The book is loosely organised into sections, covering key aspects of creative writing, such as structure, characterisation and so forth. However, it's so much more than a 'how-to' guide; it actively seeks to fire up the imagination and force writers to question their techniques. The illustrations are a joy, and the interviews with famous authors are also highly thought-provoking.

If you're serious about writing (or even if you just love the act of writing as a hobby), this is a key book for your shelf!
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on 27 March 2014
Wonderbook is a book I'd wanted to pick up for ages. Jeff Vandermeer was taunting his readers for quite a while on Facebook, so it seemed this was a long time coming. But it was certainly worth the wait.

As a professional writer, I read a lot of writing manuals, and probably will continue to do so. But most of them deal with literary fiction and discuss technique rather than creativity. There are manuals out there on creativity and inspiration, but they usually read a little like self-help titles.

Wonderbook, then, is great precisely because it combines the two and focuses on more fabulous and fantastical modes of writing. As well as essays and guides to the mechanics of writing, there are inspirational pictures, exercises, tips and a whole lot of focus on creativity as a way of thinking. This, I think, is absolutely important. I think writing can be taught, but many people don't. I think the reason many people think writing can't be taught is because many teachers of creative writing don't quite know how to establish creativity as a mode of being. Jeff absolutely excels at this. Reading Wonderbook is like discovering the Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory of writing practice. There's loads you'll love here, whether you write 'literary' or genre fiction, or even if you just want to be inspired.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 6 April 2015
Overall I recommend this. It offers many interesting points from different perspectives. It contains contributions from different people which adds to its range but also means it is a unfocused (or, to be less charitable, it's a bit of a mishmash). That makes it ideal for dipping into and not so good for systematic study.
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on 23 June 2015
Great book for artist block and better to inspire you to create something out of the box. It comes with links to exercises on the web page and a lot of tips. It's a very complete book.
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on 14 November 2015
Beautiful book. Full of amazing illustrations. But very difficult to read. Heavy texts and not necessarily linked to the next one. Many times the texts have inserts of other new texts, that make you jump pages and go back again. Let me say it's a marvellous book but sometimes too confusing. As others mentioned before, it's a book to read in pieces, not in a continuous way. I'm really undecided between 3 or 4 stars. The information is good, the illustrations are great but the structure is too messy.... In doubt I'll say a 3,5 stars. Since there is no such thing, and I don't want to be unfair, I'll give 4. But expect an hard book to read.
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on 24 January 2017
Unfortunately I am one of those who didn't like the book.

I thought the diagrams and illustrations got in the way of the text, and I found the main body of the text to be pretentious and condescending.

Some of the other writers blocks were interesting, but in general it in the way.

Book has now been sold on the the secondhand shop.
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When I ordered this book, I had expected something with some nice illustrations and some basic writing tips - what I actually got was a stunning book that is absolutely crammed with stunning artwork and packed with a huge amount of in-depth, detailed chapters on fantasy writing from various respected authors. There is plenty of theory and analysis in the book as well as suggestions for writing exercises etc that are tailored to speculative and fantasy fiction.

I honestly think this book is unique among fiction writing guides; I've never seen anything quite like it before. It probably isn't entirely suited to a complete beginner but if you've already done a bit of writing and are looking to expand your skills and seek some inspiration specific to the fantasy genre, this would be a great book for you - and frankly, it's almost worth buying for the illustrations alone.
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on 16 March 2017
This is the best book on writing creative I've ever read, and I have shelves full of the others. Visually it's a treat and the articles and text are stimulating, supportive and fascinating. The web site, which is intended to supplement reading the book, I've found difficult to navigate. I still haven't discovered how to sign the guest book or access the additional material. This is frustrating.
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on 21 December 2013
I bought this as a gift for someone. For the small price I was expecting a thin book but its actually pretty hefty and looks amazing. The illustrations make the book really interesting even to someone who isnt necessarily buying it for themselves. I also didnt realise it has some really well established contributors. Im sure the recipient will love it.
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on 12 August 2015
The book is creative, interesting, gets the writing juices flowing and all of that but, it's just too clever for its own good when it comes to design. Parts of it are next to impossible to read and while I'm sure it looked great on the Mac when they were laying it out, once ink hits paper there is always the tiniest amount of bleed and that's all it takes with this. Which is a real pity, because much of what the other authors have written are a bit more interesting than VanderMeer who has a habit of wandering all over the page in need of a edit.
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