The problem is that defining what you mean by 'theory', let alone what you mean by 'literary', causes most people, including the theorists themselves, to mumble incoherently and shuffle their feet. And it is not as though there were just one coherent body of theory to master: there are Formalist, Structuralist, Marxist, and Psychoanalytical theories; Post-structuralist, Post-colonialist, and Postmodernist theories; not to mention Feminist and Queer theories, and even Anti-Theories!
Most books providing introductions to "Literary Theory" are long-winded tomes, guiding dogged readers through the twists and turns of critical analysis and logic. This small volume goes to the heart of the key concepts of literary theory, explaining them in clear, everyday language.
It provides witty and memorable comments and quotations, and enables the student of literature to raise the most pertinent and challenging questions, which even university professors have difficulty answering.
©2006 Pocket Essentials; (P)2009 Summersdale Publishers Ltd
Literary theory is important. It is also not as complicated and complex as so many academics seem to want to make it. David Carter's attempt to present literary theory in the language of those mere mortals who are not part of the academic 'club' fails, and falls hard. He not only imbues his analysis with an 'Englishness' that should have been left behind on colonial sands, but couches his work in the language of a Victorian toff. Frustratingly boring, uninspiring and, quite simply, another failure.
For a quick catch up, or those struggling to understand what they hear in lectures, I'd suggest using this. Its basic, easy to understand and very simply but covers majority you would need to know.
As for the complete idiot who clearly spends most of his time inflicting snobbery across the internet who posted a bad review here.. please ignore. :)
Poor reader. Really like what the reader is saying, but she has a really annoying voice. Whats with all the stupid music too?
It's a good overview; covers all the relevant topics. Especially useful if you already know theory and want a refresher or an outline to keep skills sharp. Wonderful that the narrator's voice is a woman's (at least for my taste), but she talks just a beat too fast for explaining difficult material. This thing could have been about an hour longer, just a tad more engaging, and been much better.
"Reads like a dictionary"
I never took literary theory in school (which I always regreted) and thought a primer on it would help me appreciate literature more unfortunately this book is just a series of definitions read out in a rather dry form.
This book would be fine as a pocket dictionary but as an audiobook it is totally useless and dry. If anything it is a reminder of junior high English when we had to define all the different parts of literature (climax, foreshadowing) totally removed from any passion or engagement. Hardly a means of better appreciating or even understanding literature.
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