Most helpful critical review
76 of 92 people found the following review helpful
It Depends What You're Looking For
on August 24, 2004
I first heard of this book when I read a review on MSNBC many months ago. I looked forward to buying this book amd getting back into the habit of reading classics and generally stopping what I call the 'specialization and dumbing down of the mind' which I'm sure afflicts most of us that have gotten out of school and have so specialized in our chosen fields that we slowly become less knowledgeable of most other things outside of that field. Especially disconcerting is the loss of all that extraneous information from college that we no longer use, but would love to be able to talk about.
In any case, I cracked open the book and started reading with great anticipation. Though some sections were good, and the background was enjoyable (for example the development of the novel), the approach seemed to waver between too basic and too regimented. It also seemed a bit of a disconnect to treat almost every genre as separate and distinct, and not make much of an effort to intergrate them.
As I said in my title, it depends what you're looking for. If you're looking for a regiment to bring you back to the classics, much like being in a college survey course, and are willing to stick to it, you'll probably get much enjoyment out of this book. I expected a little more enlightenment and a little less college-course regiment, so it wasn't for me.