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The Reader Over Your Shoulder by Robert Graves and Alan Hodge
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The Reader Over Your Shoulder

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The Reader Over Your Shoulder by Robert Graves and Alan Hodge
Paperback $22.95
Jan 09, 2018 | ISBN 9781609807337

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  • Jan 09, 2018 | ISBN 9781609807337

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Praise

“The best book on writing ever published.” —Patricia T. O’Conner, from the introduction

“A never-ending pragmatic pleasure.” —Ralph Nader

The Reader Over Your Shoulder is subtitled A Handbook for Writers of English Prose, but it is also an inspiration for readers. I don’t know any other book in which expository prose is read so seriously, carefully, helpfully. For this reason, the book is just as important as I. A. Richard’s Practical Criticism, in which the attempts of Cambridge undergraduate students of English Literature reading certain passages of English verse were produced and examined. That book transformed the teaching of literature in the universities by showing that the governing assumptions about reading and interpretation were mostly wrong. If our educational systems were sound, The Reader Over Your Shoulder could have the same effect on the teaching of expository writing by showing what the reading of such prose entails. The questions Graves and Hodge ask, the objections they raise to the particular sentences exhibited, are never pedantic; they arise from a decision to take the prose seriously.” —Denis Donoghue in The New York Times

“To see what really expert mavens can do in applying their rule-based expertise to clearing up bad prose, get hold of a copy of The Reader Over Your Shoulder, by Robert Graves and Alan Hodge–not the modern paperback reprint, with its ruinous cuts, but the original 1943 edition, published by Macmillan [and restored in 2018 by Seven Stories Press]. It is one of the three or four books on usage that deserve a place on the same shelf with Fowler.” —Mark Halpern in The Atlantic

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