Learn more Download now Shop now Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Playlist - Acoustic Christmas Shop now Shop Women's Shop Men's



on 19 April 2017
Useful for those who speak in public when you need to inform, entertain and hold an audience.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 14 November 2016
It fills in massive gaps in my education - which was a very long time ago. The text is entertaining, and while some of it goes - WHOOSH - straight over my head on first reading - that makes a very good excuse to re-read, understand, and enjoy the fun bits again.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 13 January 2017
Thank you Mark Forsyth for the ultimate reference book on this never-taught essential. This is well written and slim enough to absorb quickly. Even a dullard like me can sound clever after absorbing some of these terms.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 21 September 2017
Some useful advice, ingeniously presented; gets a little tedious toward the end. Well worth a read.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 2 December 2013
A very entertaining adventure through many words,and phrases, and not, on any account, to be read too quickly. I am enjoying it.
0Comment| 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 11 September 2017
I learnt a lot from this book
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 28 August 2017
A very interesting read. It covers points of grammar I'd never heard of. Good clear examples.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 21 October 2016
This could have been a jaw-drippingly dull read, but Forsyth's style and humour carry it along so well, I was disappointed to reach the end.

I bought The Elements of Eloquence after seeing the pithy analysis of English word order (Chapter 8: Hyperbaton):

“adjectives in English absolutely have to be in this order: opinion-size-age-shape-colour-origin-material-purpose Noun. So you can have a lovely little old rectangular green French silver whittling knife. But if you mess with that word order in the slightest you’ll sound like a maniac.”

The writing is informative but engaging; intelligent but accessible. Forsyth mostly explains the rhetorical figures by employing the figure in his explanation: so he explains epistrophe by ending every sentence with the same words (because that's exactly what epistrophe is); he explains hypotaxis using simple sentences. Short and snappy. The description of farmer's English had me laughing out loud: embarrassing on a crowded train.

Other examples are taken not just from classical literature but also pop music, TV and movies. Most of my time reading this book, I wore a disturbing grin from the sheer pleasure of it.

It's not for everyone. But if you love wordplay, if you love language, if you love the English language like Nabokov and Rushdie love the English language, then you must, must, must read this book. It is joyous.
0Comment| 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 21 January 2017
I don’t usually have a particular next-book in mind when I visit Kindle downloads. I check out the special offers and look for those scoring lots of 5* reviews. This was one such book. The topic seemed unlikely to attract many buyers but I was intrigued. What could be so special? I read a few of the reviews and decided to give it a try.

Amazing! One of the most enjoyable books I have read in recent history. Intelligent, entertaining, very clever writing, extremely witty and even informative and potentially valuable (I am a writer by profession). The only drawback for me is that, with memory increasingly failing, I now cannot remember most of the terms for the figures. But then I can (and probably will) read it a second time and enjoy it all over again!
0Comment| 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 18 May 2017
A fun, interesting read, somewhat in the spirit of Stephen Fry’s “An Ode Less Travelled” in that it wants to educate people in literary technique rather than critique the work. It claims to be impatient with the style of writing about literature which sees its aim as to “decode” the true meaning and intent of the author, so:

“English teaching at school is obsessed with what a poet thought, as though that were of any interest to anyone. Rather than being taught how a poem is phrased, schoolchildren are asked to write essays on what William Blake thought about the Tiger; despite the fact that William Blake was a nutjob whose opinions, in a civilized society, would be of no interest to anybody apart from his parole officer…”

Although a little bit of an exaggeration, he has a point! So this book is a guide to the various tricks and techniques involved in turning an eloquent, memorable phrase. Although not a “how to…” guide with exercises, it does explain how a person can use all the various techniques to write and speak better. It also explains the background and etymology of all the complicated sounding words which describe rhetorical techniques: Aposiopesis, Hypotaxis, Diacope and so on. I don’t know enough about the subject to say if this book could accurately be called comprehensive, but it does seem to cover a lot of ground, without overstaying its welcome.

It is quite a short book, but full of really fascinating and occasionally useful stuff. Recommended.
0Comment| 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse

Need customer service? Click here