In A Way with Words: Writing, Rhetoric, and the Art of Persuasion, widely published professor Michael D.C. Drout embarked on a thought-provoking investigation into the role of rhetoric in our world. Now, in A Way with Words II: Approaches to Literature, the renowned literary scholar leads a series of lectures that focus on the big questions of literature. Is literature a kind of lie? Can fiction ever be "realistic"? Why do we read? What should we read? Professor Drout provides insight into these and other provocative questions, including those related to the role of the text, author, and audience in the reading process. Throughout, Professor Drout introduces the major schools of literary and critical thought and employs illuminating examples from the world's most important literary works. Literature contributes to our understanding of what it means to be human in a myriad of complex ways, and for all those who appreciate the role of literature in our lives, this course proves a wonderful exploration of one of humankind's most cherished pursuits.
©2007 Michael D.C. Drout; (P)2007 Recorded Books, LLC
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Irena on 24-03-09

Understanding Literary Critics

This course is about literary criticism and its different schools and theories. Actually it was not exactly what I expected. I think it should have been named "Understanding Literary Critics" instead of "Understanding Literature". There are many interesting ideas, insights and tidbits but in my opinion it lacks the narrative skeleton, especially in comparison with "The Way With Words, Part 1" which is devoted to rhetorics. But anyway, professor Michael Drout is such an brilliant lecturer and talker that I have come to the point when I would gladly listen to his lectures about anything, they are never boring regardless of the subject.

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9 of 9 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Srjane on 07-04-18

Read and enjoy

I’m at the end of doing a creative writing MA. I’ve got this book to be able to understand all the theories of literature and I’m not disappointed.
The writing is engaging and, at times amusing. Thankyou. Well worth the effort of listening.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Edward Martinez on 21-09-09

Drout is great

I have to agree with Jackson; not sure what that other reviewer is referring to.

These series of books have increased my awareness of literary constructs and rhetoric ten fold. Many favorite parts, but the chapters about Freud were captivating.

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14 of 14 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Ebony on 22-03-10

Good, but...

First, I want to say that Prof. Drout has the best voice and personality for audio books. He is energetic, funny, and his enthusiasm for the subject is contagious. I really wanted to like Part II of this series (I loved Part I.). Unfortunately, it wasn't quite what I expected.

Contrary to Part One, I found Part Two to be boring overall and I zoned out frequently. I did pick up some interesting information, and I even laughed a few times; however his constant use of unexplained terminology was frustrating and annoying. But, his great voice (I can't emphasize this enough) and personality kept me listening.

If you have ever taken college level courses on this topic (and enjoyed it), I would definitely recommend this purchase. However, if you are not familiar with the terms used in this area of study, you may be a little confused (and bored) at times. He explains some terms, but takes for granted that you understand others.

Last, I want to mention that I did like that he made references to Part One of the series. It helped to reinforce previous topics, and made everything feel cohesive.

I look forward to listening to Part III.

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10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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