Review Of "Burning Down The House: Essays On Fiction" by Charles Baxter
Not only can Charles Baxter write fiction better than most, he can also write about it better than most.
Burning Down The House is a book of nine essays on fiction. Baxter talks earnestly and often amusingly about different aspects of the craft ranging from, "Counterpointed Characterization," to "Maps and Legends of Hell: Notes on Melodrama."
This is one of my favorite books; no qualification needed. It's just a great read. He's an intellectual but unlike so many of the great thinkers, he doesn't brood or gloat about it. His personality shines through.
I met Charles Baxter a few years ago when he came to a local University to do a reading. He's always entertaining and slightly self-deprecating: everything we like our writers to be.
As far as books about writing, and books for writers go, this is a must have. And it goes for as low as $9 on Amazon (it's closer to $15 in stores). It's a great gift for writers. So if you are a writer, treat yourself.
Baxter has been writing and teaching for over twenty years. Like his fiction, the reader will get something new and valuable every time he reads, Burning Down the House: Essays on Fiction.
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