Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

13 Ways of Looking at the Novel by Jane…

13 Ways of Looking at the Novel (edition 2006)

by Jane Smiley

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7132213,224 (3.64)48
Title:13 Ways of Looking at the Novel
Authors:Jane Smiley
Info:Anchor (2006), Paperback, 608 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:TBR 2012 & PRIOR

Work details

13 Ways of Looking at the Novel by Jane Smiley

Recently added byHeyMimi, registeredbookalien, private library, sallybarnett, Ductor, Tatoosh, globulon



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 48 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
Quite disappointing. ( )
  Tatoosh | Apr 6, 2017 |
I read the introduction and thoroughly skimmed the 101 snapshots. ?I have no idea why one would care about Smiley's musings on either novels in general, or on the 100 novels she read, unless one were a huge fan of the author and wanted to read everything she wrote. ?áOtherwise this seems like self-absorbed claptrap, as the saying goes. ?áI have not managed to read anything by Smiley, even though I have tried a couple of times. ?áI've also read, erm, maybe 4 of the books in that 101 list... and her notes did not encourage me to read any others. ?áMy one-word reaction: :gag:"

ymmv" ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 5, 2016 |
alright... so. this was a very frustrating read for me. at moments, smiley could not have been more spot-on and offered some very valuable gems. at other moments, i just wanted to call 'bullshit!' on some of her commentary. (in the early part of the book, not during the part where she shares her notes on the 100 books. one example came when she started talking about the ages of writers.) and then, at other moments, i found the smiley's insertion of herself so totally inappropriate (one example: right from the get-go (so that, unfortunately, got my defences up very early) when she notes some fairly legendary authors who share a birth month, then says 'me too!'. pfft. completely unnecessary.) it makes sense to me that smiley would talk about her own books and processes in the two later chapters that are aimed at writers and deal with writing novels. but each time she mentioned her own work in the earlier chapters, i wanted to stop reading the book. i was drawn to 13 ways.. because of the broad study it offered. i don't know that i would have such interest in reading a book only about smiley? look, i have read only two novels by smiley: A Thousand Acres and Moo. i read them years ago. i recall i liked them and smiley is definitely someone i planned to read more of (and i have her two latests books on my shelves). so i really had no strong opinion about smiley going into this read. what i did know about her made me think this would be worth reading. but there is a tone i felt while read 13 ways... that was really off-putting. it was part snob, part know-it-all, with moments of giant ego. i am not sure if this says more about me as the reader, though? although it was annoying to have to sift through so much.... stuff (and there was quite a bit of repetition too, and i really felt this read to be a slog at moments) to get to the interesting and useful bits, i did find those moments so good and really helpful. i read this in e-pub format, and it wasn't well done. so i do plan to acquire a hardcopy. i think it is a good resource for my books on writing collection, as i will probably want to reference very specific parts again. beyond that, i think i will stick to smiley's fiction, in the future. ( )
  Booktrovert | May 19, 2015 |
It's not easy reading but is useful for English majors who want a refresher so they don't forget everything they learned. It was long and her review of essential novels starts at the half way mark of the book. The novels she chose are straight from my undergrad syllabus. It was nice to get another take on their significance and to hear her intelligent analysis. ( )
  Atsa | May 31, 2013 |
The first 7 or 8 chapters were good or great, so I was willing to continue reading through the strange mix of book report and diary that the final "ways of looking at a novel" encompassed. By the 13th, though, I really didn't care about and in some ways actively disliked the author's point of view. I didn't venture into the summaries of 100 novels that followed. ( )
  breakerfallen | Apr 4, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Information from the Russian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
We are not told of things that happened to specific people exactly as they happened; but the beginning is when there are good things and bad things, things that happen in this life which one never tires of seeing and hearing about, things which one cannot bear not to tell of and must pass on for all generations. If the storyteller wishes to speak well, then he chooses the good things; and if he wishes to hold the reader's attention he chooses bad things, extraordinarily bad things. Good things and bad things alike, they are the things of this world and no other. -- Murasaki Shikibu, The Tale of Genji
First words
The end of September is a great time to have a birthday if you want to be a writer.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

"Jane Smiley explores - as no novelist has before - the unparalleled intimacy of reading, why a novel succeeds (or doesn't), and how the novel has changed over time. She describes a novelist as "right on the cusp between someone who knows everything and someone who knows nothing," yet whose "job and ambition is to develop a theory of how it feels to be alive."" "Smiley invites us behind the scenes of novel-writing, sharing her own habits and spilling the secrets of her craft. She walks us step-by-step through the publication of her most recent novel, Good Faith, and, in two chapters on how to write "a novel of your own," offers advice to aspiring writers." "And in the conclusion, Smiley considers individually the one hundred books she read, from Don Quixote to Lolita to Atonement, presenting her own insights and often controversial opinions. Thirteen Ways is essential reading for anyone who has ever escaped into the pages of a novel or, for that matter, wanted to write one."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
88 wanted3 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.64)
0.5 1
1 3
2 7
2.5 1
3 27
3.5 7
4 39
4.5 4
5 18

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 115,250,885 books! | Top bar: Always visible