How To Read A Novel: A Users Guide


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Studies in the Novel
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I don't know how many women in reading-groups will be pleased by Sutherland's elaborated attack on an Ivy League college women's reading-group for daring to offend the professor's sensibilities by posting a notice describing their next book, Disgrace, in words he calls 'blinkered'; or amused by the, again, gratuitous macho-schoolboy note that Sutherland keeps striking, as when he reproduces the page-3 style cover of Atomised with the comment 'and, one might add, very sexy'; or when he selects and quotes in full the most brutal moments in the notorious gang-rape and murder scene in Last Exit to Brooklyn and then describes the film version of the scene as 'soggier No broomstick'; or in the puerile jokes about masturbation and body-parts here's a very helpful comment for the reading-groups: 'there is, for the thoughtful reader, more to fiction than knowing what genitals are beneath the underwear'.

I can't imagine any readers being flattered by the patronising note that Sutherland also keeps striking, despite his apparently pro-reader and anti-critic line an 'ivory-tower-bound profession': oh, that really hurts. This advice may be ironic but doesn't seem to be: 'if one must read a classic, go for whatever Andrew Davies is adapting Readers of popular books are described variously as 'the thundering herd', 'helpless as literate jellyfish', 'the mass of readers who flock to the bestsellers unthinking'; travellers in airport lounges read 'as intensely as trainee rabbis in a Jewish theological seminary'.


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It would have been greater yet to see Sutherland expand on this potentially lucrative convergence. Sutherland is obviously a bright guy, and How to Read a Novel is, in many instances, an interesting book.

How to Speed Read - Tim Ferriss

Overall, though, the book is disappointing: so many chapters in this book feel clipped; so many ideas unworthy of elaboration go on for pages. Slut Lullabies by Gina Frangello Gina Frangello's collection of ten short stories, featuring lowdown behavior, familial bonds, s The deadpan narration of the opening scene of Children in Reindeer Woods, Icelandic playwright Sophia by Michael Bible If the spectrum of contemporary American literature spans from swampy historical fiction, where Driven to Abstraction by Rosmarie Waldrop These two passages present sufficient material to make us realize that Waldrop's paragraphs obe The Truth About Marie by Jean-Philippe Toussaint What we have in this attractive novella, then, is a picture of two essentially uninteresting pe

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