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America's most original and controversial literary critic writes trenchantly about 48 masterworks spanning the Western tradition — from Don Quixote to Wuthering Heights to Invisible Man — in his first book devoted exclusively to narrative fiction.
In this valedictory volume, Yale professor Harold Bloom — who for more than half a century was regarded as America's most daringly original and controversial literary critic — gives us his only book devoted entirely to the art of the novel. With his hallmark percipience, remarkable scholarship, and extraordinary devotion to sublimity, Bloom offers meditations on 48 essential works spanning the Western canon, from Don Quixote to Book of Numbers; from Wuthering Heights to Absalom, Absalom!; from Les Misérables to Blood Meridian; from Vanity Fair to Invisible Man. Here are trenchant appreciations of fiction by, among many others, Austen, Balzac, Dickens, Tolstoy, James, Conrad, Lawrence, Le Guin, and Sebald.
Whether you have already listened to these books, plan to, or simply care about the importance and power of fiction, Harold Bloom is your unparalleled guide to understanding literature with new intimacy.
What the critics say
"Fresh insights and renewed joys... fervent... dedicated... [Bloom] candidly analyzes what he considers a novel’s shortcomings and where he differs with other critics’ assessments. [His] ardent celebration of novels is tinged with the inevitable losses of old age... Warm recollections of a singular literary life." (Kirkus Reviews)
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- J. J. Kuzma
Classic Bloom, but a curious reading of him
If you enjoy the ramblings of Harold Bloom at the end of his years, as I do, then you’ll enjoy this book. The narration, however, is quite jarring for the frequency of mispronunciations. Was there an editor overseeing this production? Anyone who seeks out a Harold Bloom audiobook is going to know the correct pronunciation of (to cite only a few I recall now,) such names as Gide, Cuchulain, Rimbaud and Mann. I even heard the word “treatise” pronounced “tree-teese.” Quality control was not a priority with this production.
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