How fiction works

Front Cover
Jonathan Cape, 2008 - Literary Criticism - 194 pages
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In the tradition of E. M. Forster's Aspects of the Novel and Milan Kundera's The Art of the Novel, How Fiction Works is a scintillating and searching study of the main elements of fiction, such as narrative, detail, characterization, dialogue, realism, and style. In his first full-length book of criticism, one of the most prominent critics of our time takes the machinery of story-telling apart to ask a series of fundamental questions: What do we mean when we say we 'know' a fictional character? What constitutes a 'telling' detail? When is a metaphor successful? Is realism realistic? Why do most endings of novels disappoint?Wood ranges widely, from Homer to Beatrix Potter, from the Bible to John Le CarrŽ, and his book is both a study of the techniques of fiction-making and an alternative history of the novel. Playful and profound, it incisively sums up two decades of bold, often controversial, and now classic critical work, and will be enlightening to writers, readers, and anyone interested in what happens on the page.

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How fiction works

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Serious readers of fiction will tackle this informing and enlightening new work with unrestrained relish. A staff writer at The New Yorker, Wood (American literature, Harvard Univ.; The Book Against ... Read full review

Review: How Fiction Works

User Review  - Sherwood Smith - Goodreads

A short book, fizzing with Wood's enthusiasm for reading and books. A tad too male-gaze-as-arbiter-of-judgment to take too seriously, but he offers some good discussion on narrative convention, style ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
Flaubert and Modern Narrative
32
Detail
48
Copyright

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