review How Fiction Works 103

James Wood õ 3 review

Idely from Homer to Make Way for Ducklings from the Bible to John le Carré and his book is both a study of the techniues of fiction making and an alternative history of the novel Playful and profound How Fiction Works will be enlightening to writers readers and anyone else interested in what happens on the page I thought this book would be written with a writerly slant but no More with a readerly slant turns out Still as a writer wading into novel writing you can pick up a thing or two Up to you I imagine Wood thinking He s about educating readersThe good thing This is mostly approached in layman s terms It does not come across as high falutin ivory tower show off talk that is when authors have an audience of fellow professors in mind The other good thing Wood uses so many excerpts by way of example you will find yourself wanting to read some of the books he alludes to For me that would be books like The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis Saramago Sabbath s Theater Roth Seize the Day Bellow The Waves Woolf The

characters How Fiction Works

How Fiction Works

In the tradition of E M Forster's Aspects of the How Fiction PDFEPUB or Novel and Milan Kundera's The Art of the Novel How Fiction Works is a scintillating study of the magic of fiction an analysis of its main elements and a celebration of its lasting power Here one of the most prominent and stylish critics of o For 75 pages this was all clang clang clang goes the trolley ding ding ding goes the bell but then it turned a sharp corner and I think I done got throwed off the bus Ow As it rattled off without me I was left to think carefully about what I m doing when I read a novel aside from avoiding the interminable election debates on tv OMG another 3 weeks to go and what I think a novel is doing or supposed to be doing It s good to be made to think about these things But why did I get throwed off the busThis jampacked little book is all about the why of novels and it s got some high standards to apply to both novels and readers so you better shape up you readers you Hey I do mean YOU Yeah That s rightIt s lik

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Ur time looks into the machinery of storytelling to ask some fundamental uestions What do we mean when we say we know a fictional character What constitutes a telling detail When is a metaphor successful Is Realism realistic Why do some literary conventions become dated while others stay freshJames Wood ranges w What I love about books like this is that they are filled with gobbets I rewatched The History Boys also referenced at one point not too long ago including a casual reference to the ridiculousness that is Boney M and allow me to dip into books I would never consider reading or had up to that point never considered reading without necessarily looking to agree or disagree with what is being said instead just soaking it all in Narrating Detail Character check check check A Brief History of Consciousness che eck ie the point at which things took a very philosophical turn and my mantra became Just keep reading just keep reading pretty much reaffirming the fact that though I enjoyed J M Coetzee s novel on Dostoe


10 thoughts on “How Fiction Works

  1. says:

    “When I talk about free indirect style I am really talking about point of view and when I talk about point of v

  2. says:

    Critics often get a bad reputation and likely deservingly so I often reflect on a uote by Macedonio Fernández that a critic knows nothing of what perfect literature is but only what it is not and especially while writing on Goodreads am constantly haunted by Susan Sontag's Against Interpretation I tend to think of critic

  3. says:

    For 75 pages this was all clang clang clang goes the trolley ding ding ding goes the bell but then it turned a sharp corner and I think I done got throwed off the bus Ow As it rattled off without me I was left to think care

  4. says:

    What I love about books like this is that they are filled with gobbets I rewatched The History Boys also referenced at one point not too long ago including a casual reference to the ridiculousness that is Boney M and allow me to dip into books I would never consider reading or had up to that point never considered reading without necessarily looking to agree or disagree with what is being said instead just soaking it all in Narra

  5. says:

    This is a book I've read re read and re re read I go back to it freuently whenever I've finished one of the titles from its bibliogr

  6. says:

    I kind of hate reading books of this sort as they leave me with a heightened awareness of style character rhythm etc that makes it difficult to read average or sub par fiction Of course the benefit of reading books like this is that I do cultivate a discriminatory taste so that I read only the best trashy novelsI haven't read any of Wood's criticisms but if this brief tome is any indication of the author's style erudition and insi

  7. says:

    A verymost entertaining and informative book about books and how writers make them from words placed in different orders Split into handy chapters but written as one lengthy essay with numerical subheadings Wood teaches us things from Flaubert James Joyce Foster Wallace and other masters and mistresses about how

  8. says:

    021116 this is gently deceptive as a title this is not how 'fiction' works but how a 'sort' of fiction works which happens to be his 'sort' and likely to be the 'sort' that interests someone who would read a book like this on the one acknowledged classics admired contemporary widely sourced on the other neither breathtakingly popular which might garner readers for possibly non literary reasons such as this movie or th

  9. says:

    I thought this book would be written with a writerly slant but no More with a readerly slant turns out Still as a writer wading into novel writing you can pick up a thing or two Up to you I imagine Wood thinking He's about educating

  10. says:

    Between the years 1910 and 1915 R A Torrey and A C Dixon compiled a series of books of essays entitled The Fundamentals With this series Torrey and Dixon set out to give the true Christian absolutely everything that she needed to know in order to have as complete a picture of the Creation as possible Perhaps in the knowledge that they had

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