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How To Read And Why Paperback – Apr 1 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 283 pages
  • Publisher: Diane Pub Co (April 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0756777364
  • ISBN-13: 978-0756777364
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 20.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 481 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • See Complete Table of Contents


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First Sentence
The Irish writer Frank O'Connor celebrated the short story in his Lonely Voice, believing that it dealt best with isolated individuals, particularly those upon society's fringes. Read the first page
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3.8 out of 5 stars
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By marzipan on Sept. 21 2000
Format: Unknown Binding
Big academic names also need good editors, who are a manuscript's first insightful reader and critic. That guiding hand is absent here. A book should be a complete and satisfying whole, while this is merely a collection of essays one suspects the author had written over the years, was overly fond of, so found room for them in this book.
This frustrating and disappointing book has some insightful moments--especially regarding the almost forgotten art of memorizing poems to fully understand and enjoy them, but it is unfocused and unsastisying. HOW TO READ AND WHY never fulfills the title's promise, which is too bad, for that would have been a most interesting and valuable book, if it had come into being.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By JRU on May 14 2004
Format: Paperback
How to Read and Why is a fascinating introduction to the world of adult literature (no, not the erotica but the serious, more mature side of reading). The author, Yale professor Harold Bloom, wrote a book that is revealing and easy to comprehend- a good reference especially for those, like me, without any formal qualification to discuss literature.
His guide to Faulkner is thought-provoking, and his admiration for Melville intriguing. Here he even argued that the author of Moby Dick influenced, in some ways, Toni Morisson's art of writing.
Of course, one should never forget that Bloom is a passionate advocate of Shakespeare, and his article on this god-like English writer is not something one could ignore. For Bloom, Shakespeare is the only possible rival to the bible, in literary power at least.
This is a sincere analysis on how to read and why. A brilliant and outrageous compilation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Zac Hanscom on March 27 2004
Format: Paperback
I picked up How to Read and Why from the library and read it in two days; it was a very fun book and made me want to read more. Its biggest problem is that it simply doesn't tell you how to read. It tells you what to read.
You'd be better served simply doing a Google search for the various short stories it covers in chapter 2. They're all good and you can find most of them online. I copied and pasted 5 of them (they're public domain) and printed them out. They're all worth reading.
Basically, How to Read and Why is a fun book, but you might as well just buy the books that are listed in the index. Bloom doesn't add too much to them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. Wolverton on Oct. 30 2003
Format: Unknown Binding
'Worshiping at the Altar of Shakespeare' would be a more appropriate title for Professor Bloom's book. Or possibly, 'WHAT to Read and Why.' As it stands, 'How to Read and Why' is excruciatingly inappropriate for what Bloom sets forth.
Bloom asserts in his preface that his book teaches HOW to read and why. The word "how" presupposes that the reader requires instruction in beginning to read, in this case, some of the Western world's greatest literature. Anyone who is new to great literature certainly needs help in how to read it. Such a reader requires assistance in literary devices, content, historical significance, cultural influences, etc. inherent in the works. That type of foundation will help teach you HOW to read. Bloom gives no such help. Rather, he tells you WHAT to read, and why it should be read. (He also assumes that the reader comes to the table with an already vast knowledge of literature and "how" to read it.)
Even if Bloom changed his title to 'What to Read and Why,' he might as well call it, 'Shakespeare is All You Need,' or 'How to Read Shakespeare into All the Great Masterpieces of World Literature.' Sure, Shakespeare was profoundly influential (and continues to be) in the realm of literature, no one would deny that. But to CONSTANTLY compare every author and every piece of writing to Shakespeare is like telling a child, "That's good, Johnny, but you'll never be as good as your big brother, you know that, don't you?" Even Shakespeare himself would have to grow tired of all the adoration spewed out by Bloom. Enough already.
Don't get me wrong - Bloom is obviously a genius. Anyone who read (and understood) Blake, Tennyson, and Browning at age eight, knows a thing or two. Bloom gives the reader prime examples of great literature.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By "woodhouse" on June 19 2000
Format: Unknown Binding
Please do not waste your money on this book. Each section is devoted ostensibly to a "critique" of a work that Mr. Bloom recommends to his unwashed readers. The sections are actually synopses posing as critiques. Furthermore, any critical comments Mr. Bloom does offer are sufficiently esoteric to be useful only to those already tutored in the study of literature. A better title for this book would have been How Best to Earn Money While Resting on Your Laurels.
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Format: Paperback
Because these things exist and continue existing in our minds, what other justification do you want? They lift up our imaginations and the imaginations of the artists. Bloom presumes anyone still cares about imagination.
There was a newspaper article published here just recently that said adults don't read as much as we think. Of course they don't, they don't have time, they don't want to, they don't see the need to. They're too busy making money, going out and drinking, getting divorced, playing golf, etc etc etc. Keep this in mind, and this book becomes more a lament on where inquisitive minds have gone.
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