How to Write Like Tolstoy: A Journey into the Minds of Our Greatest Writers (Paperback)Richard Cohen (author)
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A Spectator Best Book of the Year
`There are three rules for writing a novel,' Somerset Maugham once said. `Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.'
So how to bring characters to life, find a voice, kill your darlings, avoid plagiarism (or choose not to), or run that most challenging of literary gauntlets-writing a good sex scene?
Veteran editor and author Richard Cohen takes us on a fascinating excursion into the lives and minds of our greatest writers-from Balzac and Eliot to Woolf and Nabokov, through to Zadie Smith and Stephen King, with a few mischievous detours to Tolstoy along the way. In a glittering tour d'horizon, he lays bare their tricks, motivations, techniques, obsessions and flaws.
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
Number of pages: 336
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 24 mm
`This book is a wry, critical friend to both writer and reader. It is filled with cogent examples and provoking statements. You will agree or quarrel with each page, and be a sharper writer and reader by the end.' -- Hilary Mantel
`A glorious patchwork of quotation and anecdote. It is a true commonplace book, the homage of a passionate reader to the writers who have provided his "main pastime".' * Sunday Times *
`Welcome, wise and witty...Aspiring writers will glean excellent advice here.' * Literary Review *
`I very much enjoyed Richard Cohen's How to Write Like Tolstoy' -- Julie Burchill * Spectator, Books of the Year *
`An anecdotal, breezy and comprehensive approach...an entertainingly slick read.' * Herald *
`The highest compliment one can pay How to Write Like Tolstoy is that it provokes an overwhelming urge to read and write.' * Wall Street Journal *
`A book for the general reader as much as the aspiring novelist.' * Tablet *
`Interesting, charming, and engaging...Cohen reveals the possibilities that lie in wait when authors practice selection and intention, sparking the literary imagination.' * Library Journal, starred review *
`An inspiring book! It makes one glad to be a writer.' -- Fay Weldon
`Elegant... Cohen [tells] amusing, often discursive stories about great literature and authors, mixed with the writers' own observations, which he hopes will further inspire readers and would-be writers. The advice is pleasant, and sometimes wise.' * Publishers Weekly *
`Insightful... [Cohen] escorts his readers to Iris Murdoch for sage counsel on launching a novel, to Salman Rushdie for shrewd guidance on developing an unreliable narrator, to Rudyard Kipling for a cagey hint on creating memorable minor characters, and to Leo Tolstoy for a master's help in transforming personal experience into fictional art. Even readers with no intentions of writing a novel will relish the opportunity to join their favourite authors at the workbench.' * Booklist *
`Cohen's myriads of examples are lush and instructive... he is a generous tour guide through his literary world' * Kirkus Reviews *
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