Thursday, July 29, 2010


How to Read Novels Like A Professor, Thomas C Foster, HarperCollins Publishers, 2008, 307 pp

 Thomas Foster is a professor of English at the University of Michigan, but he writes about literature in a lively conversational style. I learned much about literary terms, styles and trends. The information was explained clearly and truly has made me a smarter reader.

 He begins with his own version of the history of the novel. Then by using plenty of examples, he makes sense of the dense and mysterious terminology of literary writing; words like unreliable narrator, meta-fiction, post-nmodern, stream of consciousness became concepts which I then began to see being employed in the novels I was reading. It was eye-opening and mind-expanding.

 Anyone who is learning to write fiction or who attends reading group discussions will find short, helpful chapters that can inform the construction of stories or make you look impressively smart at book club. Most of all, I feel the time I spent with this book has enhanced my already vast enjoyment of reading as many novels as I can.

(How to Read Novels Like A Professor is available on the non-fiction shelves at Once Upon A Time Bookstore.)

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