The publication of 'Robinson Crusoe' in London in 1719 marked the arrival of a revolutionary art form: the novel.
British writers were prominent in shaping the new type of storytelling - one which reflected the experiences of ordinary people, with characters in whom readers could find not only an escape, but a deeper understanding of their own lives. But the novel was more than just a reflection of British life. As Sebastian Faulks explains in this engaging literary and social history, it also helped invent the British. By focussing not on writers but on the people they gave us, Faulks not only celebrates the recently neglected act of novelistic creation but shows how the most enduring fictional characters over the centuries have helped map the British psyche - through heroes from Tom Jones to Sherlock Holmes, lovers from Mr Darcy to Lady Chatterley, villains from Fagin to Barbara Covett and snobs from Emma Woodhouse to James Bond. Accompanying a major BBC series, 'Faulks on Fiction' is a compelling and personal take on the story of how the dazzling creations of novelists helped shape the world we live in.
©2011 Sebastian Faulks (P)2011 AudioGO Ltd
You'll perhaps learn more about Faulks than about the characters featured here. You are constantly talked down to - if you've read the book in question (and I suspect most of you will have read most of them) you clearly haven't understood it to the degree of sensitivity and perception that Faulks has. I've just reached the section on Jeeves and I couldn't believe what I was hearing - the 'character' of Jeeves being excrutiatingly and totally unnecessarily unpicked: the genious of Jeeves is surely in the absence of the character detail. Having said all that, language-wise this is very well written, and if it is a reflection of Faulks, the narration is rather good, being rather pompous.
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