My rating: 3 of 5 stars
It’s no question that reading begets better writing. We find out what resonates with us as well as what disgusts us, whether or not it comes from classic or contemporary works.
How to Write a Sentence: And How to Read One, I found, focuses more on the latter than the former in its title. In the beginning of the book, Stanley Fish tells us how he believes that in order to create a powerful sentence like the ones he provides as examples throughout the book, one must be able to analyze it’s diction, syntax, etc. carefully so that one may learn to appreciate its message. The books is divided into ten chapters that details various types of sentences and how they function. From first sentences to sentences in the additive style and even sentences that are meant to be sarcastic, Fish provides example after example followed by his careful, poignant analysis of each.
Through these chapters, readers are able to see that there are many ways to go about writing good sentences. In this respect, I found the book interesting. However, I found analyzing sentence after sentence without any sort of exercises or guidelines as to what writers should try out on their own to be somewhat monotonous in spite of its ability to be informative.
Recommended (along with a more supplementary text to analyze on one’s own) to high school students, college students, and aspiring writers who are curious about the way of a writer’s ability to create sentences of art.