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A very well written book. And the book is well made too. The binding is good, paper quality good, and the typography is on point.
The content is amazing too. It's written in a way that you want to read the next part ones some with one. It has book detailed tips for improving your sentences as well as the big picture on what makes good sentences, and good writing in general.
Have this on my Audible account. This is a book I return to often as a friend would revisit a friend as a student would revisit his teacher. Every 'listen' draws more meaning and more good sense. In all that I write this book hangs as the voice behind my head asking me, demanding, that I be more considerate to my reader and remove everything that will frustrate her and make her struggle to read on. The book never hectors; it's a kind work guiding you gently to revise if possible listen to what you've written and revise, and revise again. I may never achieve the perfection that comes out of polishing a piece of furniture again and again until you can see the reflection of your face in it but it's enough that I am able to discern my face when first I saw only a full cupboard whose beauty lay hidden by neglect. What more can I say of something so refined and so very absorbing? This is one book many will return to, as I do, as much for its inherent goodness as for its brilliant narration.
The author describes his book as a 'style guide by stealth' and I think he succeeds admirably in giving advice about how to write in a clear and user-friendly way. I also enjoyed Steven Pinker's 'The Sense of Style', but it seems to me that his and other such works often have a paralysing effect, because one becomes more concerned about writing 'correctly' than in expressing oneself clearly. This book, in contrast, by concentrating on writing sentence by sentence, makes it very easy to apply the author's rules and suggestions to one's own writing. And his explanations of technical terms, the difference between parataxis and hypotaxis, for example, are so clear and beguiling that the book is a pleasure to read. It's also pleasant to dip into the book for the passages he quotes, such as G. M. Trevelyan's marvellous sixty-four word sentence on page 132.
This book is almost a philosophy lesson in the art of constructing a sentence. How did a naked ape learn the art of putting one word after another to construct a sentence. And how some of us have learnt the art of writing some sentences that can move an army or break a heart or touch a soul. The right words in the best order can create an ideology that moves people to form a religion or a mass movement. And some lead people to jail or their deaths. So, can I now write a better sentence after reading this book? The more the book goes on, the more I found my mind wandering. Maybe, on a subconscious level I can now write a better sentence, and I have thought about how to write sentences as I read the book. But I began to skim through it. And I became bored of the sentences I was reading or listening to. There is a final page on how to write or construct a sentence which I shall mull over a bit more than anything else in the book. Personally I preferred On Writing Well by William Zinsser or Becoming a Writer by Dorothea Brande and wished I read Stephen King’s book ‘on writing’ instead.
An almost perfect book. Not a style guide, not a dry factual book, but a walk along a polymathic path towards self-help, self-awareness, wonder, curiosity, life...what a surprise this book is. This is the now the book I will most often give as a present.
A book about writing, focusing on the sentence as a unit of construction. Once you settle into it, this is a very useful little book – geared towards non-fiction rather than fiction writing, so bear that in mind – that’ll offer not only some hard-won advice but sneak in a little grammar teaching and learning in too.
This is essential reading for writers and for those who aspire to be writers. A far more emotional experience than I expected, it is an in-depth exploration, not just of the sentence but of all writing. Towards the end there are real-life examples of the power and the appeal of writing, which unless you are without soul will have you in tears. Brilliant and a book I will certainly reread.
One of the most enjoyable books about writing that I have read. Moran practices what he preaches, in his own words, and the examples he chooses. Until he arrives at the end...
The three 'biographies' are moving and beautifully illustrative - but would be better woven elsewhere in the text. And the remaining paragraphs continue selling something this reader has already bought.
A very useful, instructive book to which I will return - without the final chapter.