Chris Dietzel's Reviews > Aspects of the Novel

Aspects of the Novel by E.M. Forster
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The author of 'Howard's End' and 'A Room With A View' provides his thoughts on the elements that make up stories. Parts of this were great and other parts I skimmed through because they didn't seem relevant in this day and age.

I particularly enjoyed:
- His take on commercially successful writers versus those who create works of art.
- His take on other writers of his day (loved Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, didn't care for Sir Walter Scott, thought Gertrude Stein failed in writing execution, liked Austen, thought Dickens was a one-dimensional caricaturist).
- The relationship between story, plot, and time
- His recounting of H.G. Wells mocking Henry James

The weakest part of the book, by far, was the page-long quotes from other books in order to illustrate a minor point that could have just as easily been summed up. Forster has a habit of providing extremely long quotes when a simple paraphrase would have sufficed. He also spends too much time on ideas that are never hashed out (fantasy, prophecy) and that feel out of place next to chapters on the foundational elements of storytelling (characters, plot, rhythm).

All in all, a good book on novels but I much preferred Stephen King's 'On Writing' and other books in the genre.
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Reading Progress

April 1, 2019 – Started Reading
April 1, 2019 – Shelved
April 3, 2019 – Finished Reading

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