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How Fiction Works

How Fiction Works - James Wood 3.5 stars

Wood's text begins with very clear explanations and examples, but eventually falls into a few messy areas involving point of view that I found less promising. Flaubert is his main source of inspiration, which may cause some people to gripe, seeing as a text like Madam Bovary might seem outdated in relation to contemporary literature. Still, the fact that Flaubert is used as a signpost for the "modern" novel gives Wood a clear line of critique and keeps the book somewhat focused. Still, I was disappointed that the clarity of the opening sections (the book is handy in that each salient point and example is given a numbered section) disappeared once Wood got deeper into his analysis.