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How to Read Novels Like a Professor: A…

How to Read Novels Like a Professor: A Jaunty Exploration of the World's… (2008)

by Thomas C. Foster

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I enjoyed this so much that I bought a copy. ( )
  JennysBookBag.com | Sep 28, 2016 |
I loved this book, very fun for a lit major. ( )
  sydsavvy | Apr 8, 2016 |
I wouldn't normally have picked up this book, but alas it was one of my summer reading requirements. However, I can honestly say that I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

The reader learns about the origin and history of the life of the novel. You also will learn about various things to look for in the novels you have read, are reading, and will read. Foster talks about the importance of the first page of a novel, the various different narrative perspectives a book can include, and much more.

The main reason I enjoyed this book was due to Foster's enthusiasm about the novel. You can tell and picture his passion for writing, and all the components that go into writing a piece of work. He gives you a tip, and then shows several examples of how writers have used that tip in their own writing. The works he takes examples from can be from the oldest of classics to more modern ones. So in a sense, you are technically getting two things in one. First thing you are getting are the tips to better your comprehension while you read future novels. Second, you are getting more books to add to your TBR list, because you and I both know that our TBR lists are still not long enough.

I would definitely recommend this to anyone who is searching for some help in better understanding the components that go into reading a novel. I found this novel to be quite helpful in that department. There are parts that tend to be on the drier side, but it's a book where I felt like I could personally connect with the author.
( )
  mamelotti | Apr 24, 2015 |
I read How to Read Literature Like a Professor early last year, and was pleasantly entertained and informed by his conversational introduction to symbols and motifs common in literature. In this book, he specifically looks at the novel including how the beginning teaches you to read the novel (and grabs or fails to grab the reader), chapter breaks, ambiguity, and how the history of the novel informs its form - and how authors have been playing with this ever since.

I found this book every bit as entertaining as the first, if more loosely structured. I really like Foster's approach in encouraging a variety of readers and interpretations. I greatly appreciate that he doesn't expect everyone to read like him or enjoy the same things that he does; in fact, I'm almost positive that he and I are very different readers, as I still like my novels to have less ambiguity and more finality in their endings than he clearly does. When I was an English major as an undergraduate, my experience was much less an "Aha!" and much more a "Where do professors come up with this stuff?" If, like me, you tend to take literature at its more literal level and don't get the postmodern or even just the symbolism that your English teacher said was there, you may get a lot of out these titles too. ( )
1 vote bell7 | Feb 11, 2014 |
I was hoping for a light, reasonably simple book that would help me stay alert to things I might be missing in my reading--and this book may very well provide that. However, I read a few chapters of this and found the tone kind of obnoxious, as if the author is trying to hard to keep it light and friendly to people who are intimidated by literary analysis. But there's a fine line between being accessible and assuming your readers don't understand anything. In the first couple of chapters, he made several points that seemed obvious to me (that the opening of a novel is a seduction or that a book might have certain expectations of the reader) and then explains that I, the reader, almost certainly think he's crazy for thinking this. Clearly, I'm not the reader he expects, and so I'm not going to spend more time on this.
  teresakayep | Oct 27, 2013 |
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For Linda Wagner-Martin, without whom the profession would be immensely poorer
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When Huck and Jim are floating south on their raft, where are we?
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0061340405, Paperback)

Of all the literary forms, the novel is arguably the most discussed . . . and fretted over. From Miguel de Cervantes's Don Quixote to the works of Jane Austen, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, and today's masters, the novel has grown with and adapted to changing societies and technologies, mixing tradition and innovation in every age throughout history.

Thomas C. Foster—the sage and scholar who ingeniously led readers through the fascinating symbolic codes of great literature in his first book, How to Read Literature Like a Professor—now examines the grammar of the popular novel. Exploring how authors' choices about structure—point of view, narrative voice, first page, chapter construction, character emblems, and narrative (dis)continuity—create meaning and a special literary language, How to Read Novels Like a Professor shares the keys to this language with readers who want to get more insight, more understanding, and more pleasure from their reading.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:16 -0400)

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