It’s been a long time coming
I read this book over so many weeks. I could’ve read it faster, but let’s just say it wasn’t my favourite book. It’s not as entertaining as the blurb leads you to believe. I decided only to read this book when I had free time as I had:
- Novels to read. I’m not going to read a book on close reading/writing over an actual story.
- Found the book not as exciting as I had hoped.
Recommended by the critics
So, I decided to get this book out because it was recommended by the New York Times and had fairly good reviews on GoodReads. Apparently, you can’t trust all the critics. I found the book a little dull. Why? I don’t remember if I’ve read a book that the book quoted. Why? Well, a lot of the classical books that people love, I just can’t get into. The language used then is not the same as it is now.
Do we agree?
A lot of the time, she quoted paragraphs from books with great examples of (speech, sentences, paragraphs, etc.). I don’t agree with all that she quoted. I can’t pick an example off the top of my head, but as I was reading through, I thought that she over exaggerated and read too much into the stories. That’s just my humble opinion. I think books are for enjoyment, and if you have to analyse a sentence to read a deeper meaning, then that’s not so fun.
Reading about writing
I have read quite a few books on writing now (you can check my GoodReads), and I have several more to read. This book hasn’t stopped me enjoying reading on how to write. I would say, read the first chapter in a local library. See if you enjoy it. I found the paragraphs quite long winded and long to read through. My thinking, or so I’ve read, is that the longer the paragraphs, the more intellectual the book is. Whether that makes it a good book, is a different story. I believe that writing, and reading that writing is entirely subjective, and you can’t look at a piece of writing and objectively declare it better than another. You may read this book and decide that Francine Prose is the best author and totally disagree with me. That’s okay.
April 10th 2007
In her entertaining and edifying New York Times bestseller, acclaimed author Francine Prose invites you to sit by her side and take a guided tour of the tools and the tricks of the masters to discover why their work has endured. Written with passion, humor, and wisdom, Reading Like a Writer will inspire readers to return to literature with a fresh eye and an eager heart - to take pleasure in the long and magnificent sentences of Philip Roth and the breathtaking paragraphs of Isaac Babel; she is deeply moved by the brilliant characterization in George Eliot's Middlemarch. She looks to John Le Carré for a lesson in how to advance plot through dialogue and to Flannery O'Connor for the cunning use of the telling detail. And, most important, Prose cautions readers to slow down and pay attention to words, the raw material out of which all literature is crafted.