- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Harper Perennial; Reprint edition (10 April 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780060777050
- ISBN-13: 978-0060777050
- ASIN: 0060777052
- Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.8 x 20.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,03,679 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them (P.S.) Paperback – 10 Apr 2007
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“Prose’s little guide will motivate ‘people who love books’…Like the great works of fiction, it’s a wise and voluble companion.” (New York Times Book Review)
“Witty...Insightful.” (Washington Post Book World)
“a jewel of a companion…engrossing...and...daringly insightful.” (Los Angeles Times)
“The passages are…subtle and brilliant in their capture of human complexity…Prose is…a skilled…analyst of what makes them so.” (San Francisco Chronicle)
“Reading Like A Writer is different from the rest of the pack…[Prose’s] wise book serves as an ispirational reminder.” (Washington Times)
“Sensible, valuable and highly readable, Reading Like a Writer deserves perusal — both in and out of the classroom.” (Kansas City Star)
“Celebrates the pleasures of close reading and explores the power of well-wrought language…refreshing” (Time Out New York)
“An absolutely necessary addition to the personal library of anyone who is a writer or dreams of writing.” (National Public Radio)
“Makes a case for the rewards of reading.” (Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel)
“Prose knows when to be funny, how to wield examples, and when to stop.” (More magazine)
About the Author
Francine Prose is the author of twenty-one works of fiction, including Mister Monkey; the New York Times bestseller Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932; A Changed Man, which won the Dayton Literary Peace Prize; and Blue Angel, a finalist for the National Book Award. Her works of nonfiction include Anne Frank: The Book, The Life, The Afterlife, and the New York Times bestseller Reading Like a Writer. The recipient of numerous grants and honors, including a Guggenheim, a Fulbright, and a Director’s Fellow at the Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library, she is a former president of PEN American Center and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She lives in New York City.
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Chapter 2 starts of the same, and then wanders into a confused and confusing discussion of individual adjectives in one paragraph.
Chapter 3, well, one has a finite amount of time in this world, and the less spent on this book, the better.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
You can break Prose's book is really two books: in one part, she teaches people how to read a book in such a way as to enjoy the pleasure of the language; in the second part, she teaches writers how to improve their writing-to make every word earn its place.
In the first part,Prose teaches you how to break down a piece of fiction to the smallest pieces and then appreciate how those pieces are built up into a large, wonderful structure: the novel. Once you appreciate that, and can read with an eye that appreciates that beauty, taking your time, and savoring the author's ability.
In the second part, Prose confronts a lot of "rules" about writing, knocking them down with powerful examples. What you are left with is probably Prose's chief rule: it's about finding an original voice. If a writer can focus on interesting word choice, groundbreaking detail, and contrarian paths, they can surprise readers in a wonderful way. Finally, she concludes with a list of 100 books that should be read immediately.
This book probably appeals to a small group of writers and word nerds. If you fall within that group, you can probably put this book to use, even if it is a bit dry.
I highly recommend!