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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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English lit 101, in a conversational style. If you like to read but have never taken an English literature course - for example, you are from another country, like me - this is a great introduction.

Foster gives a short history of novels, a quick summary of basics of analysis like point of view, style, mood, characters, etc. Mercifully we do not linger too much on these before diving into various literary topics, each quite interesting. My favorites were the one about anti-heroes, character's motivations, and artistic inspiration.

We also get a long reading list of seminal works that either stand as great innovations or as a great example of a particular point. I found it interesting what is considered great piece of literature and why. I think I might want to read The French Lietenant's Woman, just to know the two endings; but I doubt Faulkner is for me. Clearly he writes to delight professors - and I ain't one. ( )
  Gezemice | Oct 29, 2018 |
A really enjoyable book. The author kind of goes on sometimes (he admits it) and kind of drives his ideas into the ground, but because this book is written in a conversational way, it's not so bad. As someone who has a (bad?) habit of only reading nonfiction, this has made me excited to read more fiction, and so it's accomplished what it set out to do. ( )
  rnmdfrd | Sep 19, 2018 |
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 |
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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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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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