Reviews

The Elements of Eloquence: Secrets of the Perfect Turn of Phrase by Mark Forsyth

josettelaurel's review against another edition

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4.0

I learned so much! Too much, in fact, to possibly internalize it all

athousandgreatbooks's review against another edition

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5.0

This book is perfect for learning elements of rhetoric. I'm not going to review this fully because, even though I've 'read it', there is much work that I need to do with it, much time that I need to spend with it yet.

sledge_hm's review against another edition

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informative lighthearted fast-paced

4.0

ccrutcher's review against another edition

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4.0

A witty, easy read that breaks down literary devices in a digestible way with classic examples and tips on how-to-use. A useful read for any writer!

thomas849939's review against another edition

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funny informative fast-paced

3.5

compassrose's review against another edition

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Useful enough as a reference for knowing the things exist, but VASTLY irritating in its elaborations; Mark Forsyth thinks he's terribly clever and extremely funny. He very much is not the latter and appears to be exaggerating the former considerably, but he's really trying. Pretentious, contrived and often inaccurate short explanations of various common English figures of rhetoric, often referencing Shakespeare (of whom Forsyth talks as though he meets the Bard regularly at the pub) and God (who apparently directly wrote, in English, Forsyth's copy of the Bible). Frequently gender essentialist (the opposite nature of ladies and gentlemen, and their invariably heterosexual inclinations, are taken as a given) and generally annoying. Stephen Fry could've done a far better job, and moreover would probably have had a much better idea of what he was talking about, AND have been able to reference primary sources.

shareen17's review against another edition

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5.0

I picked this up on a whim at the library and what a happy surprise. The premise is this: memorable lines from songs, plays, poems and speeches are memorable for a reason. They follow one of a number of "formulas for producing good lines." The author goes through a number of these formulas, or figures of speech, explaining with clarity, with great examples and with great humor. I wish I could retake some of my college English courses with this as my textbook.

lia_mills's review against another edition

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funny informative lighthearted fast-paced

5.0

Method: physical book 

Genuinely one of the funniest and most informative books I've ever read, and definitely my favourite book about rhetoric and the English language. 

I deeply wish I'd read this book when I was in high school - partly because it would have been very useful to me when studying English, and partly because it would have helped me feel both more competent and more confident in creative writing (and writing in general). 

This gets 5/5 stars from me because I would recommend it to anyone who likes reading. 

triumphal_reads's review against another edition

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funny informative lighthearted fast-paced

4.0

rie_lim's review against another edition

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4.0

This book is education. The dry humour came through at parts and it gave great insights to the different writing techniques spanning centuries, visible all around us, unknown. It's especially intriguing to learn that many of such are deeply seeded in our everyday speech, media, so assimilated in our daily conversations, music without us knowing, and we never had known of such techniques if we weren't ever educated on this.

The same way we recycle and evolve concepts, communication is one of them. Fascinating! This is a good brief foundation for those intrigued by eloquence in the form of techniques, examining past literary works with evidence of applications.