The Elements of Eloquence

The Elements of Eloquence

Secrets of the Perfect Turn of Phrase

Book - 2014
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From classic poetry to pop lyrics, from Charles Dickens to Dolly Parton, even from Jesus to James Bond, Mark Forsyth explains the secrets that make a phrase--such as "O Captain! My Captain!" or "To be or not to be"--memorable. In his inimitably entertaining and wonderfully witty style, he takes apart famous phrases and shows how you too can write like Shakespeare or quip like Oscar Wilde. Whether you're aiming to achieve literary immortality or just hoping to deliver the perfect one-liner, The Elements of Eloquence proves that you don't need to have anything important to say--you simply need to say it well. In an age unhealthily obsessed with the power of substance, this is a book that highlights the importance of style.
Publisher: New York : Berkley Books, 2014, ©2013.
Edition: Berkley trade paperback edition.
ISBN: 9780425276181
Characteristics: xiv, 239 pages ;,20 cm

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fledge
Sep 27, 2016

The book shows the forms that interesting (literary) prose uses integrally. Lighthearted and not snobbish. Helpful, perhaps, to those looking for a stepping stone to better writing.

eferry Nov 28, 2014

What a fun read!

As a high school student, I took Latin with a teacher who had quite a fondness for literary devices. I knew the names, but never quite understood the actual forms. Finally, that has changed!

Forsyth has a wit and humor that makes his book keep your attention unexpectedly well. Many of you might not have read every poem, play or novel that he refers to, but most are familiar enough to be effective. Think alliteration is as good as it gets? Try zeugma or litotes!

Not a long read, but very satisfying!

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