“A captivating collection . . . Wood enlightens and excites, informs and ignites disagreement. He sends readers back to novels with a heightened awareness of what makes fiction live and breathe.”—San Francisco Chronicle “Stirringly intimate . . . The fun of Wood’s caliber of criticism is his shared enthusiasm. The thrill of these essays is the joy of vivid, intellectual collaboration.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune “Wood passes a crucial test of criticism: He is unfailingly interesting to read . . . He opens up new dimensions of the novel he’s reading in a way that strands other critics in Flatland.”—Chicago Tribune “Nabokov famously recommended that ‘as a reader, one should notice and fondle details,’ and Wood is something like the critical embodiment of this ideal . . . An excellent and necessary critic.”—Slate
James Wood is a staff writer at The New Yorker and a visiting lecturer at Harvard University. He is the author of How Fiction Works, as well as two essay collections, The Broken Estate and The Irresponsible Self, and a novel, The Book Against God.