Monday, September 1, 2014

How to Read Novels Like a Professor Review

How to  Read Novels Like a Professor

Author: Thomas C. Foster
Average Rating: 3.58/5.0
Personal Rating: 4.0/5.0
Page Count: 312
Finished Reading: August
Published: July 1st, 2008

According to Goodreads:

Of all the literary forms, the novel is arguably the most discussed . . . and fretted over. From Miguel de Cervantes's Don Quixote to the works of Jane Austen, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, and today's masters, the novel has grown with and adapted to changing societies and technologies, mixing tradition and innovation in every age throughout history.

Thomas C. Foster—the sage and scholar who ingeniously led readers through the fascinating symbolic codes of great literature in his first book, How to Read Literature Like a Professor—now examines the grammar of the popular novel. Exploring how authors' choices about structure—point of view, narrative voice, first page, chapter construction, character emblems, and narrative (dis)continuity—create meaning and a special literary language, How to Read Novels Like a Professor shares the keys to this language with readers who want to get more insight, more understanding, and more pleasure from their reading.

My opinion:

I wouldn't normally have picked up this book, but alas it was one of my summer reading requirements. However, I can honestly say that I thoroughly enjoyed this book. 

The reader learns about the origin and history of the life of the novel. You also will learn about various things to look for in the novels you have read, are reading, and will read. Foster talks about the importance of the first page of a novel, the various different narrative perspectives a book can include, and much more. 

The main reason I enjoyed this book was due to Foster's enthusiasm about the novel. You can tell and picture his passion for writing, and all the components that go into writing a piece of work. He gives you a tip, and then shows several examples of how writers have used that tip in their own writing. The works he takes examples from can be from the oldest of classics to more modern ones. So in a sense, you are technically getting two things in one. First thing you are getting are the tips to better your comprehension while you read future novels. Second, you are getting more books to add to your TBR list, because you and I both know that our TBR lists are still not long enough. 

I would definitely recommend this to anyone who is searching for some help in better understanding the components that go into reading a novel. I found this novel to be quite helpful in that department. There are parts that tend to be on the drier side, but it's a book where I felt like I could personally connect with the author. 


  1. Oh wow I don't miss summer reading requirements haha! It sounds like this one wasn't too bad at all though. I'm kind of fascinated by how intricate reading a book sounds by just this review/premise lol!

    1. This summer was my last year for summer reading for high school, so keep your fingers crossed for me that my college of choice doesn't require summer reading! Go far it if you want to read something different! That's the one thing I love about summer reading is that it gets you to read books that you wouldn't normally or ever pick up. Thanks for stopping by!