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How to Read Literature Paperback – 15 May 2014

4.3 out of 5 stars 41 ratings

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Paperback, 15 May 2014
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"Part of the fun of the book is the way in which Eagleton prompts, provokes and at times infuriates. How to read How to Read Literature? . . . as an ideal introductory guide to critical analysis, and a thoroughly enjoyable reminder of Eagleton’s own skill and subtlety as a reader."—Felicity James, Times Higher Education Supplement


""A pleasingly readable overview of what we talk about when we talk about books. . . . Incisive and honest.""—Michael Washburn, Boston Globe

""How to Read Literature is a lively and engaging primer on basic strategies for appreciating literature, a kind of English 101 in a book.""'Washington Post

""This is Eagleton at his most charming and an excellent guide for literature students early in their education or those seeking a refresher course.""'Publishers Weekly

"This book is seriously good fun. Teachers should pounce on it with glee, especially if they have tried for weary years to tell students, daunted by having to comment on great literary works, that poems and novels are not alarming, for they are composed only of words. Of course students themselves may not read the book, students being what they are, but those entrusted with their education should rejoice. It is, says Terry Eagleton in his preface, a guide for beginners. But it is much more than that. Like fireworks over Sydney harbour, it fizzes and explodes with ideas. You don’t have to be either teacher or beginner to relish it: Eagleton is so full of enthusiasm that you just need to be able to read. His canvas is broad. He is unafraid of tackling anything, from “Baa Baa Black Sheep” to “Lycidas”, and he is splendidly unpompous."—Sue Gaisford, Tablet


"Eagleton is alive to the complexity of literature and to a commonsense clarity. . . . In a cheering way, Eagleton believes in literary value and thinks an inability to recognise it would be as absurd as someone who is into single-malt whisky not being willing to admit a great one when he tasted it. . . . This is as brilliant as an absolutely sensible book about literature could be. Anyone intrigued by the subject, as well as quite a few who have long been bemused by it, will read it with intense pleasure."—Peter Craven, The Sydney Morning Herald

"This is not only an entertaining book, it's an important one. What Eagleton refers to as "slow reading", after Nietzsche, seems horribly endangered as a human activity. He draws us back to basics here, in a sequence of sharp analyses, taking into account the essential aspects of intelligent reading. I love his breezy style, so accessible and concrete; yet he never sacrifices nuance or subtlety. This is a book for every reader, not only beginners, yet it will prove immensely useful in the classroom."—Jay Parini, author of Why Poetry Matters


About the Author

Terry Eagleton is Distinguished Professor of Literature, University of Lancaster, UK, and Excellence in English Distinguished Visiting Professor, University of Notre Dame. One of the most influential literary critics in the English-speaking world, he is the author of more than 40 books on literary theory, postmodernism, politics, ideology, and religion, among them his best-selling Literary Theory: An Introduction. He lives in Northern Ireland, UK.

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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5
41 customer ratings
5 star 58% (58%) 58%
4 star 24% (24%) 24%
3 star 9% (9%) 9%
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K. Lindsell
5.0 out of 5 stars Terry Eagleton primer
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 6 October 2013
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8 people found this helpful
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Dr. Volker Hoeper
4.0 out of 5 stars Ein kleiner Einblick für Laien in die Literaturwissenschaft
Reviewed in Germany on 25 October 2013
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autodidact
5.0 out of 5 stars Wears its learning lightly
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 11 December 2013
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old man and the sea
5.0 out of 5 stars An easy, enjoyable read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 18 September 2013
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Philip Pugh
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent but not a good referencing system
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 19 May 2013
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Buglebead
5.0 out of 5 stars Clog dancing with style
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 16 August 2013
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BRIAN KING
5.0 out of 5 stars A good guide.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 28 April 2015
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V
4.0 out of 5 stars Arrived promptly. As described.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 15 May 2016
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一学徒
4.0 out of 5 stars 文学作品の読み方入門
Reviewed in Japan on 11 October 2014
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mfzh
4.0 out of 5 stars Kurze, aber höchst lesenswerte Einführung
Reviewed in Germany on 1 September 2013
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David Keppel
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book of its kind
Reviewed in the United States on 10 January 2016
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not a natural
4.0 out of 5 stars Eagleton is Still at It, Mostly for the Better
Reviewed in the United States on 28 April 2014
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Hans U. Widmaier
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic introduction to serious lit crit
Reviewed in the United States on 6 June 2013
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Phillip L. Grantland
2.0 out of 5 stars Frustrating read. Robert McKee is much better.
Reviewed in the United States on 27 January 2017
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John Estrada
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent,
Reviewed in the United States on 16 March 2019
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