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How Fiction Works by James Wood

James Wood is the literary world's preeminent critic, and in How Fiction Works, he deconstructs the novel to illustrate how its different components come together to merge into a successful novel, or not. Spaced across ten chapters, Wood draws on examples from several novels to make his points about narrative, detail, character and dialogue. His analysis and polemic are designed to improve both the reading experience and the creative process in writing a novel. How Fiction Works has received mixed reviews with the Christian Science Monitor saying, "In How Fiction Works, Wood attempts to do for literature what Ruskin did for drawing: distill the messy alchemy of art into a single, coherent system. And for the most part - through 10 chapters, stacked loosely atop one other, and spilling over at the margins with erudition - he succeeds, spectacularly."
Buy How Fiction Works by James Wood
Christian Science Monitor review
by Matt Shaer

Raleigh News & Observer review
by Todd Shy

New York Observer review
by Adam Begley

The Independent review
by DJ Taylor

Washington Post review
by Christopher Tilghman

London Times review
by Peter Kemp

Salon.com review
by Louis Bayard

The Guardian review
by Christopher Tayler

The Telegraph review
by Thomas Jones

Village Voice review
by Giles Harvey

James Wood
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