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The Complete Idiot's Guide to American Literature

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3.63  ·  Rating details ·  73 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
PYou're no idiot, of course. You know that Samuel Clemens had a better-known pen name, Moby Dick is a famous whale, and the Raven only said,"Nevermore." But when it comes to understanding the great works of Mark Twain, Herman Melville, and Edgar Allan Poe, you'd rather rent the videos than head to your local library. Don't tear up your library card yet! The Complete Idiot' ...more
ebook, 496 pages
Published August 1st 1999 by Penguin Group (USA)
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Lindsay
Jun 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I bought this to prepare for the CLEP Test at my college. It provided me with an outline of American Literature as well as brief summaries of many well known classics. It doesn't replace reading the books but I found it extremely helpful.
Andrew
Mar 16, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lit majors
Shelves: nonfiction
Good for an overview of American Literature. Learned a lot about the personal lives of many well-known authors and what inspired them.

Couple of nags: Now I'm not the greatest proofreader in the world, but, geez, I must have come across at least three typos in this book. Also the Marx Brothers, yes, the Marx Brothers have half a page about their contribution to humor, which has nothing to do with writing--except that they hung out with some famous writers like Dorothy Parker.
Mel
Jan 21, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mel by: my husband
Interesting overview of some of my favorite authors and many more I'm not familiar with. Seems like all of the post 1950's writers were clinically depressed, insane, or both. I was, however, not impressed with the numerous typos throughout the book.
Kevin Beary
Nov 13, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love these books. Great overviews of subjects. Much better grasp of Americas literary heritage due to this book , also prompted me to start reading some of the classics
Vlad Stepanov
Apr 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature
A nice introduction to Classic American Literature. Enjoyed it.
Joyful
Mar 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A must-have for anyone needing an readable overview for the CLEP test!
Jay Gesin
Using in my American Lit class.
Rachel
Good prep for the CLEP American Literature test, though not always the most wholesome subject matter.
Kayti
Great Book to learn all about American Lit. in a hurry.
Read it for my Clep exam test resource.

Cassandra Noelle
Jun 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: college-plus
This was an amazing resource! This book allowed me to get a passing score on my practice test and I hope to read through it again before I take the real CLEP test next week.
Emma
Mar 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not only is tgis book very educational... but it's also entertaining. It keeps you informed about American Literature in the past and at the same time, you enjoy the stories of the authors' lives.
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