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4.15  ·  Rating details ·  81 ratings  ·  22 reviews
On English writing style.
294 pages
Published 1955 by London, Cassell
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Huzaifa Murtaza clarity,brevity,urbanity and simplicity are the best ingredients of a style.

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Average rating 4.15  · 
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 ·  81 ratings  ·  22 reviews

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C.G. Fewston
May 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Style: The Art of Writing Well (1955) by F.L. Lucas holds the origin to those immortal words so often repeated and quoted by writing professors to their young students: "murder your darlings," meaning to delete those phrases most cherished by the writer who wrote them. Actually, the quote so often used by professors is not the actual intention Lucas had meant, but the purpose, in the end, is the same result. Lucas did not mean to delete the most beautiful sentences from the writing; he actually
Nicholas Gresens
This is the finest book about writing that I have ever read. Not only does it offer useful advice for writing well, but it does so in an entertaining manner. To be clear, Style is not about usage or grammar. It is not, as Lucas himself admits, a book about literary tricks or persuasive rhetoric. Such a book, while perhaps useful in certain contexts, would not likely earn itself great admiration. Rather, Style is about the soul of the writer. Through seemingly endless quotes from some of the grea ...more
Recommended here. ...more
Aug 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-favorites
This cult manual, holy grail of creative writing, was finally reissued in a third edition. One discovers an altogether fine book of "literary criticism" posing as a manual on writing. The medium is the message. In evaluating prose, Lucas is a convincing authority on what constitutes the stylish and what is rubbish. His own irreproachable writing demonstrates the championing of the concise, the clear, and the impeccable. Highly recommended for the conscientious reader and writer. ...more
Sep 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This might be my favourite book on writing so far.
It is incredibly well written and gives a lot of advice. Though I generally don't like non-fiction books with many examples (as this one has), they did not bother me here, as the book itself was such a joy to read.
A must-read for every aspiring writer, filled with many points that more modern books on writing ignore.
Patrick Connolly
Sep 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A go to reference for me
Nolan Ridley
Mar 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a classic, which is usually an erudite way of saying that something is going to be soul-crushingly hard to swallow for most members of a contemporary audience, but if you can force your way through it, you can brag to all your friends in your critique group about how much ancient wisdom you gleaned from its cold and yellowed pages.

The truth is that the language of this book is antiquated and occasionally effusive. However, if you can transcend the absence of vernacular, the message
Apr 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Lucas is a bit of a showoff, waxing elegant on world literature and dropping quotes -- mercifully translated in the new edition, but not in Lucas's original -- from a staggering array of authors in every European and ancient language under the sun. More amusingly, he occasionally manages to digress into how much he hates Hitler. (Spoiler alert: He REALLY hates Hitler.) But on the whole, Lucas's book on writing is a sprightly, well-crafted, eminently readable guide to crafting crisp, clear prose. ...more
Nate Heimann
Jun 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you are a writer and wish to refine your skills, this book has some useful pointers. I rate it a 4/5 for hints and general knowledge of writing, but a 2/3 for the actual read. This of course is not the fault of the author, as he is very well written (as you'd imagine since he is writing a guide to writing), yet it is still for all intensive purposes an academic book. You read this title to learn, not to be entertained. The prose can become cumbersome and pedantic, yet if you are truly intent ...more
Sep 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic advice on writing. Apparently pulled from a series of lectures, I found the book far more engaging than Strunk & White or any other book on writing that I have read. Lucas has a very even, readable style in which he puts his common-sense approach to writing to good effect. What put it over the top for me relative to the competition is that Lucas uses stronger and more memorable examples, pulled from throughout English literary history. The book gave me the impression that he's better r ...more
Katherine Humphrey
Sep 18, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Read this because my dad insisted I should.
It was at the bottom of my TBR pile and was one I started but only just finished.
Found this one wasn't for me at all. I thought I disagreed with the author b/c things he thought were great were mind-numbing for myself (probably means I have no style at all (pun intended) but hey, I know what I like).
Also found it annoying that the footnotes were, in some places, longer than the main text of the page. Also having the quotes in different languages broke
Dec 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: writing
This book on writing is quite different from Stunk and White. It provides numerous examples of what the author considers good writing although a number of them are in French. The author writes with wit and good humor. The author does not elevate brevity and simplicity of grammatical construction to the pinnacle of writing as S&W, but rather, the main lesson is clarity and good humor (leave the snark behind, or do it very very well).
Mar 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Why have I never heard of this book before?

Stylish, informed, informative and a fascinating guide to recognising and writing good prose.

The man himself, Frank Laurence Lucas (1894–1967), apart from looking like everyone's idea of Sherlock Holmes, was a WWI veteran, an accomplished writer, a leading light of the code breakers at Bletchley in WWII and a vocal opponent of appeasement with Nazi Germany.

This book is a rare treasure and deserves to be an oft-referenced classic.
Jun 13, 2008 rated it really liked it
Excellent resource. Still timely.
Ahuitz Rojas
Jan 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An absolute must for writers and researchers.
Jul 11, 2013 rated it it was ok
Since F.L. Lucas is a fan of brevity, I will resume his book: don't be too extreme in anything you write. ...more
Jul 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: all writers of prose
Recommended to Marfy by: book review
We are so used to thinking of style as something superficial, but when it comes to writing, Lucas shows how it is fundamental to an honest, well-crafted piece of work. This is a book to return to.
Ciaran Mcgrath
Sep 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent 'lost' book on the art of writing. Worth finding for any aspiring author. ...more
May 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Albeit somewhat dated, Style was originally published in 1955, there are chapters and sentiments in the book that remain as true today as they were in the middle of the last century. The chapters on Character, Clarity, Brevity, Variety, Humor, Sense, Sincerity, Simile, etc. are very useful and enlightening.

This is a book that should be read both by students and professional writers alike.

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
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