Jennifer's Reviews > Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them

Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose
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Jul 01, 07

Read in June, 2007

This book has a difficult task to accomplish: discussing the craft of writing without being trite while still being helpful. Prose's method is to let great writing speak for itself, selecting careful examples to illustrate her point. This method works rather well when she discusses words, sentences, and paragraphs. I enjoyed having to notice the craft at that level of detail, which is so easy to overlook when you're engrossed in a novel. Her method worked less well when discussing narration or character. I think in those cases, it's difficult to have key passages do the work for you. Be warned that Prose tends to gush over the writers she loves, especially Chekhov, and it can be painful at times. Having said that, this book made me add a ton of books to my to-read list (including Chekhov) and that is always a big plus.
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