Roy Peter Clark, one of America's most influential writing teachers, offers writing lessons we can draw from 25 great texts.
Where do writers learn their best moves? They use a technique that Roy Peter Clark calls X-ray reading, a form of reading that lets you penetrate beyond the surface of a text to see how meaning is actually being made.
In The Art of X-Ray Reading, Clark invites you to don your X-ray reading glasses and join him on a guided tour through some of the most exquisite and masterful literary works of all time, from The Great Gatsby to Lolita to The Bluest Eye and many more. Along the way, he shows you how to mine these masterpieces for invaluable writing strategies that you can add to your arsenal and apply in your own writing. Once you've experienced X-ray reading, your writing will never be the same again.
©2016 Roy Peter Clark (P)2016 Hachette Audio
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"So Good I Bought the Print Version"
I will soon know the answer to this question. I enjoyed the Audible version so much I decided to buy a print version in order to underline and notate key parts.
Eats, Shoots and Leaves although this book is much better than that one.
There are no real characters in this book unless you consider the books chosen to be examined. In that case, my favorite part was the section on Flannery O'Connor, a wonderful short story writer. After hearing that section I was even more impressed by O'Connor's skill.
This is a very entertaining book even though it is actually a book about reading in order to improve your writing. Great writing coupled with an excellent narrator have made this a most entertaining book. I appreciate favorite authors even more than before as the nuances of their skill is uncovered.
"So good I listened again (then bought the book)!"
For non-fiction writing books, this is one of the best. It offers analysis and numerous examples (helpful for the books about which I was not familiar), and despite 25 chapters, nothing was repeated. That's why it's worth buying the book and annotating it yourself.
The narrator was fantastic, too.
"SUPERB NARRATION SHOWS HOW GREAT WORKS WORK."
NARRATOR JEFFERSON MAYS SPOKE THE WORDS AS IF HE HAD FELT, THOUGHT, AND WRITTEN THEM HIMSELF. AND WHAT WORDS THEY WERE! INTELLECTUALLY INCISIVE. EMOTIONALLY MOVING. TRUE TO LIFE. NEVER A DULL. GAVE ME A DEEPER APPRECIATION OF LITERATURE -- BY MEANS AND METHODS OF "X-RAY READING."
"KING LEAR" AND "THE GRAPES OF WRATH" WERE FINALLY BROUGHT HOME TO ME AS NEVER BEFORE. OPENED MY EYES, MY MIND, MY HEART.
YES. AND I DID SO BY SKIPPING TO THE BOOKS I WAS INTERESTED IN. VERY EASY TO SIFT BACK AND FORTH. KINDA LIKE PANNING FOR GOLD AND FINDING NUGGETS APLENTY.
DID I FORGET TO MENTION THE AUTHOR, ROY PETER CLARK? I DID?? GOSH. SORRY. BUT I KNOW MR. CLARK WILL UNDERSTAND. HE IS HUMANE. MR. CLARK WON ME OVER IMMEDIATELY WHEN HE DEDICATED HIS BOOK TO HIS TWO BROTHERS WHO ARE CARING FOR HIS 95-YEAR-OLD MOM. BOOKS ARE GREAT. GOTTA HAVE 'EM. BUT MOM IS SINA QUA NON.
"surprisingly fun and informative"
The excerpts from books I haven't read that are now on my reading list- Clark brought many great passages to my attention! I also did learn to pay closer attention to certain details of good prose as promised by the book. I will give myself permission to slow down and savor good sentences a bit more. Sometimes it seems like good writing and attention to style is overlooked these days and Clark offers a remedy to this.
The chapter in which the author treats Rachel Carson's 'The Sea Around Us.' Gorgeous excerpts, fascinating analysis.
The narrator did a great job. The reading is faithful to the erudite yet fun tone of the book and keeps the listener engaged with a warm, lively tone and energy.
My only quibble is that sometimes the reading is a touch too fast- the format of the book is spaced out with lots of excerpts, lists, and new paragraph headings, but without more of a pause between them it isn't always immediately clear in whose voice the narrator is reading- whether it be the author's or a character or author ffrom a referenced book.
I really wish I had access to this book when in school! The writing and audio combine to make an very enjoyable listening experience.
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