Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Craft of Fiction” as Want to Read:
The Craft of Fiction
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Craft of Fiction

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  76 ratings  ·  18 reviews
The Craft of Fiction is an important Criticism work by essayist, and literary critic Percy Lubbock. Lubbock's outlook in this publication is an obvious extension to that of Henry James and he works to illustrate the craft by referencing many important and classic novels including Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina, Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary and Henry James' The ...more
Paperback, 232 pages
Published December 16th 2007 by Fq Classics (first published January 1st 1931)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Craft of Fiction, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Craft of Fiction

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.58  · 
Rating details
 ·  76 ratings  ·  18 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of The Craft of Fiction
David Xavier
Nov 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a writers book. I had never heard of Percy Lubbock before, but I read in an interview with one of my favorite authors (Graham Greene), that of the many, many books on the art of the novel, only Percy Lubbocks The Craft of Fiction has interested me at all.  I found Stephen Kings On Writing to be useful as well, but The Craft of Fiction tears apart well known books and shows the reader why they work. If youre a writer, read it. ...more
Elizabeth Eshelman
Feb 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
A star rating doesn't seem appropriate here...but it's a worthwhile book, so I'll give it four.

While the dramatic takes precedence in a novel, picture-making is also important. I feel my MFA education emphasized the former and downplayed the latter, though Lubbock does not. He doesnt dismiss the picture-makers; in fact, aside from female authors and Turgenev, he doesnt seem to dismiss anyone. One of my favorite aspects of his criticism is that he genuinely recognizes genius, even as he critiques
...more
Tayyba Kanwal
Mar 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: craft-of-writing
A deeply intelligent analysis of how an author's choices of POV and narrative distance impact the story a novel tells. I would not have appreciated this book before I had completed my novel. Now that I understand the mechanics of my own choices (or sometimes not!), this book has helped me see exactly what I can achieve, and how powerfully I can do that, during my revisions.

This is a rare analysis/craft book that goes deeper than a categorization of approaches a novelist can take, or formulaic
...more
أحمد الغزي
كتب الناشر في غلاف الكتاب الخلفي كثيراً وهو يمدح هذا الكتاب ويُعلي من قدره واستعان ببعض المقولات لبعض الأشخاص لتدعم موقفه وكان يباهي بأنهم أضافوا للمكتبة العربية رافداً مهماً سيساهم في بناء الثقافة العربية .. والحقيقة أني لم أرَ شيئاً من هذا في الكتاب !
الكتاب ممل جداً ولم يأتِ بجديد ومع تقديري لمكانة الكاتب فكتابه أخذ سمعةً لا يستحق بعضاً منها . وأنا شخصياً لم أستفد من قراءته مطلقاً بل خسرت عليه وقتاً كان أحرى أن يُنفق على غيره .
استشهادات الكاتب بروايات قديمة لم يكن موفقاً وكان يتحدث عن
...more
مؤمن الوزان
صنعة الرواية - بيرسي لوبوك.

إن بداية نقد الرواية يبدأ بالقراءة السليمة.


بعد فصلين تقديمين عن القراءة والنقد والكاتب والناقد يشرع لوبوك في كتابه النقدي في بحث الشكل والزمن في رواية تولستوي الحرب والسلم الرواية التاريخية الأعظم بالنسبة للكثيرين التي أرّخت مرحلة الصدام الأوروبي - النابليوني في معركة اوسترليتز وغزو نابليون لروسيا وفشله بعد معركتي بورودينو هذا ما مثّل جانب الحرب أما جانب الحياة والسلم فمثلته شخصيات كثيرة منها عائلة بولكنسكي وبيير ورسوتوف. ما يُعالجه وينقده لوبوك هو شكل الرواية المتشعب
...more
Steve
May 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
This 1921 book attempts to create a standard by which to begin to discuss novels. Using examples from Tolstoy, James, Balzac, and a few others, Lubbock discusses the two main approaches to filling a novel - the pictorial or general, wide covering of events and personalities across space and time; and the dramatic or the laying out of action, dialogue, or thought as it happens in a way to make the reader see what is occurring. He also spends a great deal of time discussing the advantages and ...more
Matthew
Mar 16, 2010 rated it it was ok
Essentially a treatise on point of view, these are mostly copacetic footnotes to James: often edifying, rarely clever, never profound. The argument is inoffensive, if a bit right of center; perhaps unimaginative, but not unsubstantial. It's his method that irks me. The value of any given novel, to Lubbock, seems to be largely contingent on how closely it resembles what its author wished it to resemble - and so he's constantly speculating what narrative opportunities Flaubert recognized, what ...more
Adam Stevenson
Feb 25, 2019 rated it liked it
This book appealed to me because of the title, The Craft of Fiction. I have always been convinced that novel writing is a craft rather than an art because a novel is a functional object designed to convey story and characters to the readers.

The first chapter was a fascinating look at the problems of critiquing a novel because; As quickly as we read, it (the novel) melts and shifts in the memory. We read a novel in instalments, experiencing it as a moving stream of impressions. This means that
...more
Bobbie Darbyshire
Jan 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Published in 1921, a fascinating (if long-winded) book of literary criticism, which takes apart masterpieces (including War and Peace, Vanity Fair, and Anna Karenina) dares to say they are not as good as they could have been, and analyses why. Lubbock thoughtfully and persuasively examines the different purposes and powers of the omniscient authorial voice, the retrospective first person narrative, the close third person narrative, and variants of the above, guided by the crucial principle of ...more
Mary Ellen Woods
A bit esoteric, but what do you expect from a critic. Some good food for thought though.
Van Marfaik
كتاب في غاية الأهمية للناقد والروائي
Adam
Jan 21, 2009 marked it as to-read
Shelves: writing-tools
First paragraph: 'To grasp the shadowy and fantasmal form of a book, to hold it fast, to turn it over and survey it at leisure--that is the effort of a critic of books, and it is perpetually defeated. Nothing, no power, will keep a book steady and motionless before us, so that we may have time to examine its shape and design. As quickly as we read, it melts and shifts in the memory; even at the moment when the last page is turned, a great part of the book, its finer detail, is already vague and ...more
Amir Atef
للأسف الكتاب رغم قوة عنوانه إلا أنه لن يقدم الكثير للقارىء أو حتى الكاتب
وأنا هنا لا أعيب عليه فهو كتب في زمن غير زمننا هذا
ولكن حتى إن كنت أعيش في الخمسينيات لكنت أرى وأقرأ لكتاب كثر قد استخدموا تقنيات أعلى بكثير مما ذكر هنا في هذا الكتاب
اكثر ما أعجبني هنا هو أن (بيرسي لوبوك) وضع حجر زاوية (الرؤية) وميّز بين (العرض) و(السرد) فأكّد أنه في (العرض) يتحقق حكي القصة نفسها بنفسها دون وسيط. بينما في (السرد) راوٍ عالم بكل شيء يقدم الحكاية. ثم حدّد وجهات النظر في ثلاث هي:
1 ـ التقديم البانورامي حيث نجد
...more
Philip Tucker
Sep 26, 2016 rated it liked it
Graham Greene says in his autobiographical A Sort of Life, "My long studies in Percy Lubbock's The Craft of Fiction had taught me the importance of 'the point of view'." So, I bought myself a nice old 1928 copy of The Craft of Fiction and I've found it really useful. It's a bit flowery in places, but there are some really useful insights. I'd recommend it to anyone aspiring to write novels (after all, it was good enough for Graham Greene!)
Scott
Oct 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
Read it for a class. Informative, but hardly the end-all of information about writing fiction.
Terry
Aug 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I've wanted read for years. Glad I finished. Loved the deep analysis of narrative. His style and language kept it interesting.
R.W. Clark
At one time, this was the manual of writing.

I can't remember anything notable about it beyond that historical footnote....
Maggie
Jun 09, 2011 rated it liked it
too much repetition which covers over the valid observations that this critic makes on what to look for in strong fiction. his ideas are worthy. his impulse to repeat, exhausting.
Mary Senter
rated it liked it
Mar 27, 2013
Omnivorousreader
rated it it was amazing
Jun 04, 2015
Kieran
rated it liked it
Aug 22, 2017
Samah Sabry
rated it liked it
Jan 23, 2015
د. حمدان
rated it it was ok
Oct 22, 2013
Mat
rated it liked it
Oct 30, 2013
Verna Dreisbach
rated it really liked it
Apr 03, 2010
Andrew Heap
rated it it was ok
Jul 02, 2013
Mâbróukâ Sâlém
rated it really liked it
Jun 09, 2015
KathleenKelly
rated it liked it
Oct 24, 2017
Janelle V. Dvorak
rated it liked it
Jun 25, 2008
David Howard
rated it it was amazing
Jul 02, 2017
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Aspects of the Novel
  • A Thousand Acres
  • Excellent Women
  • A Reader's Guide to T. S. Eliot: A Poem-By-Poem Analysis
  • Casting Off (Cazalet Chronicles, #4)
  • Confusion (Cazalet Chronicles, #3)
  • All Change (Cazalet Chronicles, #5)
  • Grendel
  • Blue Nights
  • Stuart: A Life Backwards
  • The Art of Fiction: Notes on Craft for Young Writers
  • Men We Reaped
  • Reality Hunger: A Manifesto
  • Life As We Knew It (Last Survivors, #1)
  • The Writing of Fiction
  • When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit (Out of the Hitler Time, #1)
  • The Amateurs
  • The Incendiaries
See similar books…

News & Interviews

"Stay calm and read on" might be our collective slogan for the coming months. Since we all might need some help with that, we asked Goodreads m...
102 likes · 96 comments
“Even at the moment when the last page is turned, a great part of the book, its finer detail, is already vague and doubtful. A little later, after a few days or months, how much is really left of it?” 1 likes
“What was the novelist's intention, in a phrase? If it cannot be put into a phrase it is no subject for a novel.” 0 likes
More quotes…