Review: Good Prose: The Art of Non-Fiction

Good Prose: The Art of NonfictionGood Prose: The Art of Nonfiction by Tracy Kidder and Richard Todd

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A quick review for a quick read. My e-copy for “Good Prose” was about 149 pages and while it was brief, the read itself didn’t feel that way as it was packed with experiences narrated between author Tracy Kidder and his editor Richard Todd. I wouldn’t say this is a traditional “guide” to writing, but rather a reflection of the experiences, narratives perused, and knowledge that the two have on certain dimensions of writing non-fiction in any realm. Whether it’s starting a particular narrative, researching, bringing personal stories to the page via character and place, writing an essay, or getting down to the bare bones and editing to an extent, Kidder and Todd examine these in some terms through the narrative. I’ll admit it wasn’t as deep as I was expecting, and at times, the number of references and the nature of the prose itself bogged down the flow of the work a little more than I would’ve liked. Still, I found it a valuable read, and it was most certainly worth taking a look at not only some of the narratives they reference in text (some references to Kidder’s own work, including one I’ve read before – “Mountains Beyond Mountains”), but also worth looking into what works they reference as helpful guides to writing in general.

Overall: 3/5

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