From the Publisher
“How to Read a Novel is a lighthearted, often funny book. And oddly calming. There may not be time to read everything, but at least there is some hope of doing it well.” The Los Angeles Times
“A quick and lively view of the novel that mixes practical wisdom and theory...highly recommended.” Library Journal
“Informed, wise, witty, urbane, sententious by turns…a relaxing but stimulating read.” Public Library Journal (UK)
Sutherland (modern English literature, emeritus, University Coll., London; Stephen Spender: The Authorized Biography), a columnist for the London Guardian, has written a quick and lively view of the novel that mixes practical wisdom and theory. He gives a "four-minute" history of fiction using exemplary texts; provides their titles, publication dates, author photographs, fonts, and epigraphs; and discusses first sentences, style, and truth vs. fiction. In fact, he gives you everything you need to know to become a successful and happy novel reader. Sutherland has the ability to lightly discuss both classic and modern novelists (e.g., D.H. Lawrence, Zadie Smith) and can also do a fast deep reading quite an achievement! He explains the importance of the novel in exploring forbidden themes; the nature of prizes, reviews, and best sellers; and the practical side of publication. His brief mention of the nature and influences of different types of libraries is illuminating. The major piece of wisdom to be gained? It's probably that you can get what you need for yourself, your life, and your happiness from the novel, what D.H. Lawrence called the "one bright book of life." Highly recommended for literature collections. Gene Shaw, NYPL Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.