An Economist Best Book of the Year A New York Times Book Review Notable Book A Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year A San Francisco Chronicle Best Nonfiction Book of the Year A Washington Post Best Book of the Year A Kansas City Star Best Book of the Year A Library Journal Best Book of the Year
Wearing the hat of an enthusiast as well as a critic, James Wood here describes with style and precision the magical process by which fiction lights up our minds. How Fiction Works is a study of the main elements: narrative, detail, characterization, realism, and style. Wood ranges widely, from Homer to Make Way for Ducklings, the Bible to John Le Carre, and his book is both a study of the techniques of fiction-making and an alternative history of the novel. Playful and profound, How Fiction Works will be a revelation to writers, readers, and anyone interested in the magic of a written story.