Academicseasy

Class XI – How to write a Book Review

What is a book review.

A book review is a form of literary criticism in which a book is merely described or analyzed based on content, style, and merit. It is a thorough description, critical analysis, or evaluation of the quality, meaning, and significance of a book, not a retelling. It should focus on the book’s purpose, content, and authority. The four stages of writing a book review are:

(a) introducing the book

(b) outlining its contents

(c) highlighting parts of the book by selecting particular chapters or themes, and giving a detailed evaluation.

Word Limit  for a Book Review

Book reviews are usually 600 to 2,000 words in length. It is best to aim for about 1,000 words, as you can say a fair amount in 1,000 words without getting bogged down. But from the examination point of view, it should be written in about 150-200 words. 

Difference between summary and book review

While a review gives an evaluation of the book along with the background information about the author, a summary is to describe what the book is all about. A summary usually presents the main idea of the book and may list one or two intrigues developed in the text.

Format of a book review

1. Title of the Book

2. Author of the Book

4. Language

5. First originally published in the year

6. was the book a best seller?

8. Cost of the Book

9. Name of the Publisher

10. Edition and year of Copyright

11. No. of pages

12. Writing style

14. Setting

15. Summary

16. Characters

17. Your Impressions

18. Your ratings

A Sample Short Book Review of “The Time Machine” 

1. Title of the Book: The Time Machine

2. Author of the Book:  H.G. Wells

3. Country: United Kingdom

4. Language: English

5. First originally published by : William Heinemann, London in 1895.

6. was the book a best seller? : Yes

7. Genre: Science Fiction Novel

8. Cost of the Book: $2.70

9. Name of the Publisher:  Dover Publications

10. Edition and year of Copyright: April 3, 1995

11. No. of pages: 80

12. Writing style: Narrative

13. Plot: The story follows a Victorian scientist, who claims that he has invented a device that enables him to travel through time, and has visited the  future , arriving in the year 802,701 in what had once been London. The narrator recounts the Traveller’s lecture to his weekly dinner guests that time is simply the fourth dimension and demonstrates a tabletop model machine for travelling through the fourth dimension. He reveals that he has built a machine capable of carrying a person through time and returns at dinner the following week to recount a remarkable tale, becoming the new narrator.

14. Summary:  A group of men, including the narrator, is listening to the Time Traveller discussing his theory that time is the fourth dimension. The Time Traveller produces a miniature time machine and makes it disappear into thin air. The next week, the guests return, to find their host stumble in, looking disheveled and tired. They sit down after dinner, and the Time Traveller begins his story.

15. Characters: The Narrator-Hillyer, Eloi, Morlocks, Weena

16. Your Impressions: The time traveller’s machine is described in such sketchy terms that it can scarcely be believed as an instrument of science, and the time traveller’s account is similarly sketchy and bizarre. The very nature of time travel means that he’s away for only a short period of time, and the only “proof” of his travels is a crunched up flower. And given that the narrative is told in a twice-removed manner, the reader can’t help but wonder whether any of the novels is true at all. Did the time traveller truly engage in such chronological shenanigans, and did he experience what he claims? Or is he simply using an imagined future to provide a warning about the current state of society? But the reality is that neither the truth nor the journey matters: it’s only the outcome.

14. Your ratings: *****

A Sample Detailed Book Review of “The Time Machine” 

12. Introduction: The Time Machine was first published in 1894 as a serial under the name The Time Traveller in the National Observer. It was brought out as a book the next year under its current name and sold more than six thousand copies in a few months. H. G. Wells was just twenty-seven years old when the story, which came to be called a “scientific romance,” was published. Wells’s friend, William Henley, edited the National Observer, and Wells became part of a group of writers called “Henley’s young men.” The novel’s appeal lies in its attempt to fathom what will become of human beings in the distant future. By making the central character of his story a time traveler who can transport himself back and forth in time with the aid of the machine he invented, Wells is able to explore many of the themes that obsessed him, including class inequality, evolution, and the relationship between science and society. In describing the future world of the effete Eloi and the cannibalistic Morlocks and the world beyond that in which all semblance of human life has been erased, Wells illustrates what he believes may very well be the fate of humanity. The novel’s enduring popularity is evident in the three films adapted from the novel and the scores of others inspired by it.

13. About the Author: Herbert George Wells was born in a working-class family in 1866. He came from a poor background, which was unusual for a writer at that time. He won a scholarship to study science at university. With a first-class degree in biology, he briefly became a teacher. His career in the classroom was ended by a sharp kick in the kidneys from an unhappy pupil, which left him too unwell to continue teaching. He then lived on a s mall income from journalism and short stories, until his literary career took off with his first science fiction novel, The Time Machine, in 1895.

Wells wrote with tremendous energy throughout his life, producing many science fiction stories, short stories, sociological and political books, autobiographical novels, and histories. He became very successful as a writer, perhaps because his work was both popular and intellectual, and he lived in some style. He married twice and had a reputation as a womanizer. He moved in socialist circles and used fiction to explore his political ideas. Wells died in 1946.

14. Summary: A group of men, including the narrator, is listening to the Time Traveller discussing his theory that time is the fourth dimension. The Time Traveller produces a miniature time machine and makes it disappear into thin air. The next week, the guests return, to find their host stumble in, looking disheveled and tired. They sit down after dinner, and the Time Traveller begins his story.

The Time Traveller had finally finished work on his time machine, and it rocketed him into the future. When the machine stops, in the year 802,701 AD, he finds himself in a paradisiacal world of small humanoid creatures called Eloi. They are frail and peaceful and give him fruit to eat. He explores the area, but when he returns he finds that his time machine is gone. He decides that it has been put inside the pedestal of a nearby statue. He tries to pry it open but cannot. In the night, he begins to catch glimpses of strange white ape-like creatures the Eloi call Morlocks. He decides that the Morlocks live below ground, down the wells that dot the landscape. Meanwhile, he saves one of the Eloi from drowning, and she befriends him. Her name is Weena. The Time Traveller finally works up enough courage to go down into the world of Morlocks to try to retrieve his time machine. He finds that matches are a good defense against the Morlocks, but ultimately they chase him out of their realm. Frightened by the Morlocks, he takes Weena to try to find a place where they will be safe from the Morlocks’ nocturnal hunting. He goes to what he calls the Palace of Green Porcelain, which turns out to be a museum. There, he finds more matches, some camphor, and a lever he can use as a weapon. That night, retreating from the Morlocks through a giant wood, he accidentally starts a fire. Many Morlocks die in the fire and the battle that ensues, and Weena is killed. The exhausted Time Traveller returns to the pedestal to find that it has already been pried open. He strides in confidently, and just when the Morlocks think that they have trapped him, he springs onto the machine and whizzes into the future.

The Time Traveller makes several more stops. In a distant time, he stops on a beach where he is attacked by giant crabs. The bloated red sun sits motionless in the sky. He then travels thirty million years into the future. The air is very thin, and the only sign of life is a black blob with tentacles. He sees a planet eclipse the sun. He then returns, exhausted, to the present time. The next day, he leaves again but never returns.

15. Plot: H. G. Wells’s fascination with the idea of time travel into the future was first expressed in his story “The Chronic Argonauts” (1888). He wrote at least four other versions before the first book publication of The Time Machine: An Invention in 1895.

The Time Machine is a frame narrative. The outer narrator, Hillyer, briefly sets the scene for the much longer inner narrative, the Time Traveler’s story about his experiences in the future. Hillyer concludes the narrative with a description of the subsequent disappearance of the Time Traveler and offers a brief speculative epilogue.

Hillyer is one of a group of professional men who regularly gather for dinner and conversation at the Time Traveler’s house. One evening, the host explains to his skeptical visitors that he has discovered the principles of time travel. He demonstrates a miniature time machine and shows his visitors an almost-completed full-sized version in his laboratory.

At Hillyer’s next visit, the Time Traveler enters, disheveled, and limping but eager to tell his visitors about his travels in the far future. He begins by graphically describing the subjective effects of compressing years into moments of time. He then tells them how he arrived in c.e. 802,701 and encountered a race of creatures, evolved from humans, called Eloi. They are small, frail, gentle, childlike vegetarians. He theorizes that humanity has reached a state of contented inactivity in harmony with nature. Soon thereafter, the time machine vanished into the hollow pedestal of a statue, and he realized that this future world harbored disturbing secrets.

Other occurrences made him determined to explore the mysteries beneath the placid surface of the world. He discovered the Morlocks, small, apelike creatures who tended vast machines in dark caverns and visited the surface only during the night. He concluded that the Eloi and Morlocks were the descendants of the capitalist and laborer classes of his own time and that social separation had led to the evolution of two distinct human species. He also learned to his horror that the Morlocks killed and ate Eloi.

He and Weena, an Eloi female whom he had saved from drowning, then visited a ruinous museum in the hope of finding some means of freeing the time machine from the Morlocks. On their return journey, they were surrounded by Morlocks at night in a forest. Weena was lost, but the Time Traveler escaped. He returned to the statue and found the pedestal open. He mounted the time machine as the Morlocks sprang their trap but were able to escape by traveling in time.

Curious about Earth’s fate, he voyaged farther into the future and found that all traces of humanity had vanished. More than thirty million years hence, he found himself on a desolate beach facing a swollen red sun, life has devolved to the point of extinction. Horrified, he returned to his own time.

Hillyer, deeply affected by the Time Traveler’s story, returns the next day to find his host about to depart. Invited to wait, he does so, but in vain.

16. Setting: There is but one physical setting for the entire story, but three temporal settings are used over the course of the novel. The book begins in late 19th century London, specifically, in the Time Traveller’s home in Richmond, a borough on the Thames River, on the outskirts of London. The dining room, smoking room, and laboratory are the only rooms seen and are not fully described, as they are only the setting for the narrative frame which surrounds the real story, told by the Time Traveller himself. The men gather in the smoking room, seating themselves around the Time Traveller, who sits near the fireplace and begins to tell his tale in the dim light of the fire’s glow.

The most important setting–the time and place in which most of the story takes place–is still the site of the Time Traveller’s house and the area surrounding it, but hundreds of thousands of years into the future. In the year 802701, the buildings that once formed London are completely gone, and all that can be found are the buildings used by the aboveground dwellers, a very large statue of a Sphinx-like creature, the ruins of several other structures, and scattered circular wells. Everything else has gone back to nature; trees and flowers fill the Thames Valley.

The third temporal setting is even farther into the distant future, thirty million years hence, and the landscape is even more dramatically different. Now the Thames Valley is a desolate beach, facing an aging ocean with no waves, only an occasional swell. Large white butterflies and huge crablike creatures populate the world, and even further in the future, the crabs are gone and only lichen and an amorphous black creature remain.

17. Writing style: Narrative

18. Character Analysis:

The Time Traveller: A well-read and intelligent man of science. He is versed in the theories of his day, and very clearly a Darwinist, like Wells himself, and his thoughts echo much of Wells’s own theories about the Britain of his time. He is a man of observation, and muses quite a bit about his surroundings, in an attempt to use logical thinking to draw conclusions about the future and its inhabitants. The Time Traveller has a sense of humor about almost everything he encounters and accepts his friends’ skepticism. Witty and somewhat of a joker, this aspect of his personality is part of the reason his friends so quickly dismiss his story and demonstration as a joke.

The Narrator, Hillyer:  One of the three men present at both dinners. The narrator is the only character who gives any credence to the Time Traveller’s claims; he seriously considers the possibility of time travel.

Eloi: A peaceful but weak and lethargic people who populate the surface of the earth in the year 802701. Small in stature and delicate featured, the Eloi play all day, feast on fruit in great halls, and sleep in a large communal chamber in order to protect themselves from the dark and the possibility of Morlock attack. Easily tired and childlike, they are not interested in intellectual pursuits, or in the Time Traveller beyond his function as a diversion.

Morlocks: An aggressive, predatory, ape-like “people” who live beneath the earth’s surface in the year 802701. The Morlocks are the descendants of the working class of the late 19th century and continue to labor, maintaining, and running huge machines deep in the earth. They have adapted physically to live beneath the surface, with large, eyes very sensitive to light, and light, unpigmented skin, and fur. Carnivores, they feast on the Eloi, who they maintain as a source of meat.

Weena: An Eloi who the Time Traveller saves from drowning. She becomes a special friend of the Time Traveller, following him around and occasionally serves as a source of information. She eventually is attacked by the Morlocks and dies in the forest fire.

19. Your Impressions: The time traveller’s machine is described in such sketchy terms that it can scarcely be believed as an instrument of science, and the time traveller’s account is similarly sketchy and bizarre. The very nature of time travel means that he’s away for only a short period of time, and the only “proof” of his travels is a crunched up flower. And given that the narrative is told in a twice-removed manner, the reader can’t help but wonder whether any of the novels is true at all. Did the time traveller truly engage in such chronological shenanigans, and did he experience what he claims? Or is he simply using an imagined future to provide a warning about the current state of society? But the reality is that neither the truth nor the journey matters: it’s only the outcome.

20. Your ratings: *****

————-xxx————

Related posts:

  • Class XI – How to Write a Book Review

2 thoughts on “Class XI – How to write a Book Review”

Not at all very well

This is too lengthy. Book review in ISC has to be around 300 words only.

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17 Book Review Examples to Help You Write the Perfect Review

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Blog – Posted on Friday, Mar 29

17 book review examples to help you write the perfect review.

17 Book Review Examples to Help You Write the Perfect Review

It’s an exciting time to be a book reviewer. Once confined to print newspapers and journals, reviews now dot many corridors of the Internet — forever helping others discover their next great read. That said, every book reviewer will face a familiar panic: how can you do justice to a great book in just a thousand words?

As you know, the best way to learn how to do something is by immersing yourself in it. Luckily, the Internet (i.e. Goodreads and other review sites , in particular) has made book reviews more accessible than ever — which means that there are a lot of book reviews examples out there for you to view!

In this post, we compiled 17 prototypical book review examples in multiple genres to help you figure out how to write the perfect review . If you want to jump straight to the examples, you can skip the next section. Otherwise, let’s first check out what makes up a good review.

Are you interested in becoming a book reviewer? We recommend you check out Reedsy Discovery , where you can earn money for writing reviews — and are guaranteed people will read your reviews! To register as a book reviewer, sign up here.

Pro-tip : But wait! How are you sure if you should become a book reviewer in the first place? If you're on the fence, or curious about your match with a book reviewing career, take our quick quiz:

Should you become a book reviewer?

Find out the answer. Takes 30 seconds!

What must a book review contain?

Like all works of art, no two book reviews will be identical. But fear not: there are a few guidelines for any aspiring book reviewer to follow. Most book reviews, for instance, are less than 1,500 words long, with the sweet spot hitting somewhere around the 1,000-word mark. (However, this may vary depending on the platform on which you’re writing, as we’ll see later.)

In addition, all reviews share some universal elements, as shown in our book review templates . These include:

  • A review will offer a concise plot summary of the book. 
  • A book review will offer an evaluation of the work. 
  • A book review will offer a recommendation for the audience. 

If these are the basic ingredients that make up a book review, it’s the tone and style with which the book reviewer writes that brings the extra panache. This will differ from platform to platform, of course. A book review on Goodreads, for instance, will be much more informal and personal than a book review on Kirkus Reviews, as it is catering to a different audience. However, at the end of the day, the goal of all book reviews is to give the audience the tools to determine whether or not they’d like to read the book themselves.

Keeping that in mind, let’s proceed to some book review examples to put all of this in action.

How much of a book nerd are you, really?

Find out here, once and for all. Takes 30 seconds!

Book review examples for fiction books

Since story is king in the world of fiction, it probably won’t come as any surprise to learn that a book review for a novel will concentrate on how well the story was told .

That said, book reviews in all genres follow the same basic formula that we discussed earlier. In these examples, you’ll be able to see how book reviewers on different platforms expertly intertwine the plot summary and their personal opinions of the book to produce a clear, informative, and concise review.

Note: Some of the book review examples run very long. If a book review is truncated in this post, we’ve indicated by including a […] at the end, but you can always read the entire review if you click on the link provided.

Examples of literary fiction book reviews

Kirkus Reviews reviews Ralph Ellison’s The Invisible Man :

An extremely powerful story of a young Southern Negro, from his late high school days through three years of college to his life in Harlem.
His early training prepared him for a life of humility before white men, but through injustices- large and small, he came to realize that he was an "invisible man". People saw in him only a reflection of their preconceived ideas of what he was, denied his individuality, and ultimately did not see him at all. This theme, which has implications far beyond the obvious racial parallel, is skillfully handled. The incidents of the story are wholly absorbing. The boy's dismissal from college because of an innocent mistake, his shocked reaction to the anonymity of the North and to Harlem, his nightmare experiences on a one-day job in a paint factory and in the hospital, his lightning success as the Harlem leader of a communistic organization known as the Brotherhood, his involvement in black versus white and black versus black clashes and his disillusion and understanding of his invisibility- all climax naturally in scenes of violence and riot, followed by a retreat which is both literal and figurative. Parts of this experience may have been told before, but never with such freshness, intensity and power.
This is Ellison's first novel, but he has complete control of his story and his style. Watch it.

Lyndsey reviews George Orwell’s 1984 on Goodreads:

YOU. ARE. THE. DEAD. Oh my God. I got the chills so many times toward the end of this book. It completely blew my mind. It managed to surpass my high expectations AND be nothing at all like I expected. Or in Newspeak "Double Plus Good." Let me preface this with an apology. If I sound stunningly inarticulate at times in this review, I can't help it. My mind is completely fried.
This book is like the dystopian Lord of the Rings, with its richly developed culture and economics, not to mention a fully developed language called Newspeak, or rather more of the anti-language, whose purpose is to limit speech and understanding instead of to enhance and expand it. The world-building is so fully fleshed out and spine-tinglingly terrifying that it's almost as if George travelled to such a place, escaped from it, and then just wrote it all down.
I read Fahrenheit 451 over ten years ago in my early teens. At the time, I remember really wanting to read 1984, although I never managed to get my hands on it. I'm almost glad I didn't. Though I would not have admitted it at the time, it would have gone over my head. Or at the very least, I wouldn't have been able to appreciate it fully. […]

The New York Times reviews Lisa Halliday’s Asymmetry :

Three-quarters of the way through Lisa Halliday’s debut novel, “Asymmetry,” a British foreign correspondent named Alistair is spending Christmas on a compound outside of Baghdad. His fellow revelers include cameramen, defense contractors, United Nations employees and aid workers. Someone’s mother has FedExed a HoneyBaked ham from Maine; people are smoking by the swimming pool. It is 2003, just days after Saddam Hussein’s capture, and though the mood is optimistic, Alistair is worrying aloud about the ethics of his chosen profession, wondering if reporting on violence doesn’t indirectly abet violence and questioning why he’d rather be in a combat zone than reading a picture book to his son. But every time he returns to London, he begins to “spin out.” He can’t go home. “You observe what people do with their freedom — what they don’t do — and it’s impossible not to judge them for it,” he says.
The line, embedded unceremoniously in the middle of a page-long paragraph, doubles, like so many others in “Asymmetry,” as literary criticism. Halliday’s novel is so strange and startlingly smart that its mere existence seems like commentary on the state of fiction. One finishes “Asymmetry” for the first or second (or like this reader, third) time and is left wondering what other writers are not doing with their freedom — and, like Alistair, judging them for it.
Despite its title, “Asymmetry” comprises two seemingly unrelated sections of equal length, appended by a slim and quietly shocking coda. Halliday’s prose is clean and lean, almost reportorial in the style of W. G. Sebald, and like the murmurings of a shy person at a cocktail party, often comic only in single clauses. It’s a first novel that reads like the work of an author who has published many books over many years. […]

Emily W. Thompson reviews Michael Doane's The Crossing on Reedsy Discovery :

In Doane’s debut novel, a young man embarks on a journey of self-discovery with surprising results.
An unnamed protagonist (The Narrator) is dealing with heartbreak. His love, determined to see the world, sets out for Portland, Oregon. But he’s a small-town boy who hasn’t traveled much. So, the Narrator mourns her loss and hides from life, throwing himself into rehabbing an old motorcycle. Until one day, he takes a leap; he packs his bike and a few belongings and heads out to find the Girl.
Following in the footsteps of Jack Kerouac and William Least Heat-Moon, Doane offers a coming of age story about a man finding himself on the backroads of America. Doane’s a gifted writer with fluid prose and insightful observations, using The Narrator’s personal interactions to illuminate the diversity of the United States.
The Narrator initially sticks to the highways, trying to make it to the West Coast as quickly as possible. But a hitchhiker named Duke convinces him to get off the beaten path and enjoy the ride. “There’s not a place that’s like any other,” [39] Dukes contends, and The Narrator realizes he’s right. Suddenly, the trip is about the journey, not just the destination. The Narrator ditches his truck and traverses the deserts and mountains on his bike. He destroys his phone, cutting off ties with his past and living only in the moment.
As he crosses the country, The Narrator connects with several unique personalities whose experiences and views deeply impact his own. Duke, the complicated cowboy and drifter, who opens The Narrator’s eyes to a larger world. Zooey, the waitress in Colorado who opens his heart and reminds him that love can be found in this big world. And Rosie, The Narrator’s sweet landlady in Portland, who helps piece him back together both physically and emotionally.
This supporting cast of characters is excellent. Duke, in particular, is wonderfully nuanced and complicated. He’s a throwback to another time, a man without a cell phone who reads Sartre and sleeps under the stars. Yet he’s also a grifter with a “love ‘em and leave ‘em” attitude that harms those around him. It’s fascinating to watch The Narrator wrestle with Duke’s behavior, trying to determine which to model and which to discard.
Doane creates a relatable protagonist in The Narrator, whose personal growth doesn’t erase his faults. His willingness to hit the road with few resources is admirable, and he’s prescient enough to recognize the jealousy of those who cannot or will not take the leap. His encounters with new foods, places, and people broaden his horizons. Yet his immaturity and selfishness persist. He tells Rosie she’s been a good mother to him but chooses to ignore the continuing concern from his own parents as he effectively disappears from his old life.
Despite his flaws, it’s a pleasure to accompany The Narrator on his physical and emotional journey. The unexpected ending is a fitting denouement to an epic and memorable road trip.

The Book Smugglers review Anissa Gray’s The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls :

I am still dipping my toes into the literally fiction pool, finding what works for me and what doesn’t. Books like The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Gray are definitely my cup of tea.
Althea and Proctor Cochran had been pillars of their economically disadvantaged community for years – with their local restaurant/small market and their charity drives. Until they are found guilty of fraud for stealing and keeping most of the money they raised and sent to jail. Now disgraced, their entire family is suffering the consequences, specially their twin teenage daughters Baby Vi and Kim.  To complicate matters even more: Kim was actually the one to call the police on her parents after yet another fight with her mother. […]

Examples of children’s and YA fiction book reviews

The Book Hookup reviews Angie Thomas’ The Hate U Give :

♥ Quick Thoughts and Rating: 5 stars! I can’t imagine how challenging it would be to tackle the voice of a movement like Black Lives Matter, but I do know that Thomas did it with a finesse only a talented author like herself possibly could. With an unapologetically realistic delivery packed with emotion, The Hate U Give is a crucially important portrayal of the difficulties minorities face in our country every single day. I have no doubt that this book will be met with resistance by some (possibly many) and slapped with a “controversial” label, but if you’ve ever wondered what it was like to walk in a POC’s shoes, then I feel like this is an unflinchingly honest place to start.
In Angie Thomas’s debut novel, Starr Carter bursts on to the YA scene with both heart-wrecking and heartwarming sincerity. This author is definitely one to watch.
♥ Review: The hype around this book has been unquestionable and, admittedly, that made me both eager to get my hands on it and terrified to read it. I mean, what if I was to be the one person that didn’t love it as much as others? (That seems silly now because of how truly mesmerizing THUG was in the most heartbreakingly realistic way.) However, with the relevancy of its summary in regards to the unjust predicaments POC currently face in the US, I knew this one was a must-read, so I was ready to set my fears aside and dive in. That said, I had an altogether more personal, ulterior motive for wanting to read this book. […]

The New York Times reviews Melissa Albert’s The Hazel Wood :

Alice Crewe (a last name she’s chosen for herself) is a fairy tale legacy: the granddaughter of Althea Proserpine, author of a collection of dark-as-night fairy tales called “Tales From the Hinterland.” The book has a cult following, and though Alice has never met her grandmother, she’s learned a little about her through internet research. She hasn’t read the stories, because her mother, Ella Proserpine, forbids it.
Alice and Ella have moved from place to place in an attempt to avoid the “bad luck” that seems to follow them. Weird things have happened. As a child, Alice was kidnapped by a man who took her on a road trip to find her grandmother; he was stopped by the police before they did so. When at 17 she sees that man again, unchanged despite the years, Alice panics. Then Ella goes missing, and Alice turns to Ellery Finch, a schoolmate who’s an Althea Proserpine superfan, for help in tracking down her mother. Not only has Finch read every fairy tale in the collection, but handily, he remembers them, sharing them with Alice as they journey to the mysterious Hazel Wood, the estate of her now-dead grandmother, where they hope to find Ella.
“The Hazel Wood” starts out strange and gets stranger, in the best way possible. (The fairy stories Finch relays, which Albert includes as their own chapters, are as creepy and evocative as you’d hope.) Albert seamlessly combines contemporary realism with fantasy, blurring the edges in a way that highlights that place where stories and real life convene, where magic contains truth and the world as it appears is false, where just about anything can happen, particularly in the pages of a very good book. It’s a captivating debut. […]

James reviews Margaret Wise Brown’s Goodnight, Moon on Goodreads:

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown is one of the books that followers of my blog voted as a must-read for our Children's Book August 2018 Readathon. Come check it out and join the next few weeks!
This picture book was such a delight. I hadn't remembered reading it when I was a child, but it might have been read to me... either way, it was like a whole new experience! It's always so difficult to convince a child to fall asleep at night. I don't have kids, but I do have a 5-month-old puppy who whines for 5 minutes every night when he goes in his cage/crate (hopefully he'll be fully housebroken soon so he can roam around when he wants). I can only imagine! I babysat a lot as a teenager and I have tons of younger cousins, nieces, and nephews, so I've been through it before, too. This was a believable experience, and it really helps show kids how to relax and just let go when it's time to sleep.
The bunny's are adorable. The rhymes are exquisite. I found it pretty fun, but possibly a little dated given many of those things aren't normal routines anymore. But the lessons to take from it are still powerful. Loved it! I want to sample some more books by this fine author and her illustrators.

Publishers Weekly reviews Elizabeth Lilly’s Geraldine :

This funny, thoroughly accomplished debut opens with two words: “I’m moving.” They’re spoken by the title character while she swoons across her family’s ottoman, and because Geraldine is a giraffe, her full-on melancholy mode is quite a spectacle. But while Geraldine may be a drama queen (even her mother says so), it won’t take readers long to warm up to her. The move takes Geraldine from Giraffe City, where everyone is like her, to a new school, where everyone else is human. Suddenly, the former extrovert becomes “That Giraffe Girl,” and all she wants to do is hide, which is pretty much impossible. “Even my voice tries to hide,” she says, in the book’s most poignant moment. “It’s gotten quiet and whispery.” Then she meets Cassie, who, though human, is also an outlier (“I’m that girl who wears glasses and likes MATH and always organizes her food”), and things begin to look up.
Lilly’s watercolor-and-ink drawings are as vividly comic and emotionally astute as her writing; just when readers think there are no more ways for Geraldine to contort her long neck, this highly promising talent comes up with something new.

Examples of genre fiction book reviews

Karlyn P reviews Nora Roberts’ Dark Witch , a paranormal romance novel , on Goodreads:

4 stars. Great world-building, weak romance, but still worth the read.
I hesitate to describe this book as a 'romance' novel simply because the book spent little time actually exploring the romance between Iona and Boyle. Sure, there IS a romance in this novel. Sprinkled throughout the book are a few scenes where Iona and Boyle meet, chat, wink at each, flirt some more, sleep together, have a misunderstanding, make up, and then profess their undying love. Very formulaic stuff, and all woven around the more important parts of this book.
The meat of this book is far more focused on the story of the Dark witch and her magically-gifted descendants living in Ireland. Despite being weak on the romance, I really enjoyed it. I think the book is probably better for it, because the romance itself was pretty lackluster stuff.
I absolutely plan to stick with this series as I enjoyed the world building, loved the Ireland setting, and was intrigued by all of the secondary characters. However, If you read Nora Roberts strictly for the romance scenes, this one might disappoint. But if you enjoy a solid background story with some dark magic and prophesies, you might enjoy it as much as I did.
I listened to this one on audio, and felt the narration was excellent.

Emily May reviews R.F. Kuang’s The Poppy Wars , an epic fantasy novel , on Goodreads:

“But I warn you, little warrior. The price of power is pain.”
Holy hell, what did I just read??
➽ A fantasy military school
➽ A rich world based on modern Chinese history
➽ Shamans and gods
➽ Detailed characterization leading to unforgettable characters
➽ Adorable, opium-smoking mentors
That's a basic list, but this book is all of that and SO MUCH MORE. I know 100% that The Poppy War will be one of my best reads of 2018.
Isn't it just so great when you find one of those books that completely drags you in, makes you fall in love with the characters, and demands that you sit on the edge of your seat for every horrific, nail-biting moment of it? This is one of those books for me. And I must issue a serious content warning: this book explores some very dark themes. Proceed with caution (or not at all) if you are particularly sensitive to scenes of war, drug use and addiction, genocide, racism, sexism, ableism, self-harm, torture, and rape (off-page but extremely horrific).
Because, despite the fairly innocuous first 200 pages, the title speaks the truth: this is a book about war. All of its horrors and atrocities. It is not sugar-coated, and it is often graphic. The "poppy" aspect refers to opium, which is a big part of this book. It is a fantasy, but the book draws inspiration from the Second Sino-Japanese War and the Rape of Nanking.

Crime Fiction Lover reviews Jessica Barry’s Freefall , a crime novel:

In some crime novels, the wrongdoing hits you between the eyes from page one. With others it’s a more subtle process, and that’s OK too. So where does Freefall fit into the sliding scale?
In truth, it’s not clear. This is a novel with a thrilling concept at its core. A woman survives plane crash, then runs for her life. However, it is the subtleties at play that will draw you in like a spider beckoning to an unwitting fly.
Like the heroine in Sharon Bolton’s Dead Woman Walking, Allison is lucky to be alive. She was the only passenger in a private plane, belonging to her fiancé, Ben, who was piloting the expensive aircraft, when it came down in woodlands in the Colorado Rockies. Ally is also the only survivor, but rather than sitting back and waiting for rescue, she is soon pulling together items that may help her survive a little longer – first aid kit, energy bars, warm clothes, trainers – before fleeing the scene. If you’re hearing the faint sound of alarm bells ringing, get used to it. There’s much, much more to learn about Ally before this tale is over.

Kirkus Reviews reviews Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One , a science-fiction novel :

Video-game players embrace the quest of a lifetime in a virtual world; screenwriter Cline’s first novel is old wine in new bottles.
The real world, in 2045, is the usual dystopian horror story. So who can blame Wade, our narrator, if he spends most of his time in a virtual world? The 18-year-old, orphaned at 11, has no friends in his vertical trailer park in Oklahoma City, while the OASIS has captivating bells and whistles, and it’s free. Its creator, the legendary billionaire James Halliday, left a curious will. He had devised an elaborate online game, a hunt for a hidden Easter egg. The finder would inherit his estate. Old-fashioned riddles lead to three keys and three gates. Wade, or rather his avatar Parzival, is the first gunter (egg-hunter) to win the Copper Key, first of three.
Halliday was obsessed with the pop culture of the 1980s, primarily the arcade games, so the novel is as much retro as futurist. Parzival’s great strength is that he has absorbed all Halliday’s obsessions; he knows by heart three essential movies, crossing the line from geek to freak. His most formidable competitors are the Sixers, contract gunters working for the evil conglomerate IOI, whose goal is to acquire the OASIS. Cline’s narrative is straightforward but loaded with exposition. It takes a while to reach a scene that crackles with excitement: the meeting between Parzival (now world famous as the lead contender) and Sorrento, the head of IOI. The latter tries to recruit Parzival; when he fails, he issues and executes a death threat. Wade’s trailer is demolished, his relatives killed; luckily Wade was not at home. Too bad this is the dramatic high point. Parzival threads his way between more ’80s games and movies to gain the other keys; it’s clever but not exciting. Even a romance with another avatar and the ultimate “epic throwdown” fail to stir the blood.
Too much puzzle-solving, not enough suspense.

Book review examples for non-fiction books

Nonfiction books are generally written to inform readers about a certain topic. As such, the focus of a nonfiction book review will be on the clarity and effectiveness of this communication . In carrying this out, a book review may analyze the author’s source materials and assess the thesis in order to determine whether or not the book meets expectations.

Again, we’ve included abbreviated versions of long reviews here, so feel free to click on the link to read the entire piece!

The Washington Post reviews David Grann’s Killers of the Flower Moon :

The arc of David Grann’s career reminds one of a software whiz-kid or a latest-thing talk-show host — certainly not an investigative reporter, even if he is one of the best in the business. The newly released movie of his first book, “The Lost City of Z,” is generating all kinds of Oscar talk, and now comes the release of his second book, “Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI,” the film rights to which have already been sold for $5 million in what one industry journal called the “biggest and wildest book rights auction in memory.”
Grann deserves the attention. He’s canny about the stories he chases, he’s willing to go anywhere to chase them, and he’s a maestro in his ability to parcel out information at just the right clip: a hint here, a shading of meaning there, a smartly paced buildup of multiple possibilities followed by an inevitable reversal of readerly expectations or, in some cases, by a thrilling and dislocating pull of the entire narrative rug.
All of these strengths are on display in “Killers of the Flower Moon.” Around the turn of the 20th century, oil was discovered underneath Osage lands in the Oklahoma Territory, lands that were soon to become part of the state of Oklahoma. Through foresight and legal maneuvering, the Osage found a way to permanently attach that oil to themselves and shield it from the prying hands of white interlopers; this mechanism was known as “headrights,” which forbade the outright sale of oil rights and granted each full member of the tribe — and, supposedly, no one else — a share in the proceeds from any lease arrangement. For a while, the fail-safes did their job, and the Osage got rich — diamond-ring and chauffeured-car and imported-French-fashion rich — following which quite a large group of white men started to work like devils to separate the Osage from their money. And soon enough, and predictably enough, this work involved murder. Here in Jazz Age America’s most isolated of locales, dozens or even hundreds of Osage in possession of great fortunes — and of the potential for even greater fortunes in the future — were dispatched by poison, by gunshot and by dynamite. […]

Stacked Books reviews Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers :

I’ve heard a lot of great things about Malcolm Gladwell’s writing. Friends and co-workers tell me that his subjects are interesting and his writing style is easy to follow without talking down to the reader. I wasn’t disappointed with Outliers. In it, Gladwell tackles the subject of success – how people obtain it and what contributes to extraordinary success as opposed to everyday success.
The thesis – that our success depends much more on circumstances out of our control than any effort we put forth – isn’t exactly revolutionary. Most of us know it to be true. However, I don’t think I’m lying when I say that most of us also believe that we if we just try that much harder and develop our talent that much further, it will be enough to become wildly successful, despite bad or just mediocre beginnings. Not so, says Gladwell.
Most of the evidence Gladwell gives us is anecdotal, which is my favorite kind to read. I can’t really speak to how scientifically valid it is, but it sure makes for engrossing listening. For example, did you know that successful hockey players are almost all born in January, February, or March? Kids born during these months are older than the others kids when they start playing in the youth leagues, which means they’re already better at the game (because they’re bigger). Thus, they get more play time, which means their skill increases at a faster rate, and it compounds as time goes by. Within a few years, they’re much, much better than the kids born just a few months later in the year. Basically, these kids’ birthdates are a huge factor in their success as adults – and it’s nothing they can do anything about. If anyone could make hockey interesting to a Texan who only grudgingly admits the sport even exists, it’s Gladwell. […]

Quill and Quire reviews Rick Prashaw’s Soar, Adam, Soar :

Ten years ago, I read a book called Almost Perfect. The young-adult novel by Brian Katcher won some awards and was held up as a powerful, nuanced portrayal of a young trans person. But the reality did not live up to the book’s billing. Instead, it turned out to be a one-dimensional and highly fetishized portrait of a trans person’s life, one that was nevertheless repeatedly dubbed “realistic” and “affecting” by non-transgender readers possessing only a vague, mass-market understanding of trans experiences.
In the intervening decade, trans narratives have emerged further into the literary spotlight, but those authored by trans people ourselves – and by trans men in particular – have seemed to fall under the shadow of cisgender sensationalized imaginings. Two current Canadian releases – Soar, Adam, Soar and This One Looks Like a Boy – provide a pointed object lesson into why trans-authored work about transgender experiences remains critical.
To be fair, Soar, Adam, Soar isn’t just a story about a trans man. It’s also a story about epilepsy, the medical establishment, and coming of age as seen through a grieving father’s eyes. Adam, Prashaw’s trans son, died unexpectedly at age 22. Woven through the elder Prashaw’s narrative are excerpts from Adam’s social media posts, giving us glimpses into the young man’s interior life as he traverses his late teens and early 20s. […]

Book Geeks reviews Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love :

WRITING STYLE: 3.5/5
SUBJECT: 4/5
CANDIDNESS: 4.5/5
RELEVANCE: 3.5/5
ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 3.5/5
“Eat Pray Love” is so popular that it is almost impossible to not read it. Having felt ashamed many times on my not having read this book, I quietly ordered the book (before I saw the movie) from amazon.in and sat down to read it. I don’t remember what I expected it to be – maybe more like a chick lit thing but it turned out quite different. The book is a real story and is a short journal from the time when its writer went travelling to three different countries in pursuit of three different things – Italy (Pleasure), India (Spirituality), Bali (Balance) and this is what corresponds to the book’s name – EAT (in Italy), PRAY (in India) and LOVE (in Bali, Indonesia). These are also the three Is – ITALY, INDIA, INDONESIA.
Though she had everything a middle-aged American woman can aspire for – MONEY, CAREER, FRIENDS, HUSBAND; Elizabeth was not happy in her life, she wasn’t happy in her marriage. Having suffered a terrible divorce and terrible breakup soon after, Elizabeth was shattered. She didn’t know where to go and what to do – all she knew was that she wanted to run away. So she set out on a weird adventure – she will go to three countries in a year and see if she can find out what she was looking for in life. This book is about that life changing journey that she takes for one whole year. […]

Emily May reviews Michelle Obama’s Becoming on Goodreads:

Look, I'm not a happy crier. I might cry at songs about leaving and missing someone; I might cry at books where things don't work out; I might cry at movies where someone dies. I've just never really understood why people get all choked up over happy, inspirational things. But Michelle Obama's kindness and empathy changed that. This book had me in tears for all the right reasons.
This is not really a book about politics, though political experiences obviously do come into it. It's a shame that some will dismiss this book because of a difference in political opinion, when it is really about a woman's life. About growing up poor and black on the South Side of Chicago; about getting married and struggling to maintain that marriage; about motherhood; about being thrown into an amazing and terrifying position.
I hate words like "inspirational" because they've become so overdone and cheesy, but I just have to say it-- Michelle Obama is an inspiration. I had the privilege of seeing her speak at The Forum in Inglewood, and she is one of the warmest, funniest, smartest, down-to-earth people I have ever seen in this world.
And yes, I know we present what we want the world to see, but I truly do think it's genuine. I think she is someone who really cares about people - especially kids - and wants to give them better lives and opportunities.
She's obviously intelligent, but she also doesn't gussy up her words. She talks straight, with an openness and honesty rarely seen. She's been one of the most powerful women in the world, she's been a graduate of Princeton and Harvard Law School, she's had her own successful career, and yet she has remained throughout that same girl - Michelle Robinson - from a working class family in Chicago.
I don't think there's anyone who wouldn't benefit from reading this book.

Hopefully, this post has given you a better idea of how to write a book review. You might be wondering how to put all of this knowledge into action now! Many book reviewers start out by setting up a book blog. If you don’t have time to research the intricacies of HTML, check out Reedsy Discovery — where you can read indie books for free and review them without going through the hassle of creating a blog. To register as a book reviewer , go here .

And if you’d like to see even more book review examples, simply go to this directory of book review blogs and click on any one of them to see a wealth of good book reviews. Beyond that, it's up to you to pick up a book and pen — and start reviewing!

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Book Review Writing

Book Review Examples

Cathy A.

Book Review Examples to Help You Get Started

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Published on: May 25, 2019

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Last updated on: Nov 16, 2023

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Are you in desperate need of some assistance to up your book review writing game? 

We know that penning down a review can come off as a tricky challenge, but do not worry!

To help you write book reviews that carry the essence of the book and engage readers, we have collected a handful of book review examples in this blog. 

The included examples will enable you to understand different writing styles and approaches taken toward book review writing . So, you can use your words effectively to craft the perfect book review.

Let’s kickstart things off!

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  • 1. Good Book Review Examples for Students
  • 2. Short Book Review Examples for Fiction Books
  • 3. Non-Fiction Book Review Examples

Good Book Review Examples for Students

You might be a professional writer, or you may not have any experience in writing book reviews. Rest assured, we’ll show you how to write perfect book reviews with the help of a sample template and great examples.

See this template to know what you should include in your book review: 

Book Review Template

Here is a good book review example for 4th-grade students:

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Book Review Examples for Middle School Students

Reading reviews written by others can help you get a feel and flavor of good book reviews. Learning how to write a perfect book review can help students to:

  • Critically analyze a text
  • Give a personal opinion on the text
  • Improve analyzing and critical thinking skills 

Here are some interesting book review examples suitable for middle school students. 

Book Review Example for Middle School Students

Book Review Example for Kids

Book Review of Any Book in 300 Words

Science Book Review Example

Book Review Examples For High School Students

Below, you can also find some good book review examples for high school students. These real-life examples can help you get a clear understanding of the standard book review format that you should follow.

Book Review Example for High School Students

Book Review Examples for Class 9

Book Review Example for Grade 10

Book Review Examples for College Students

As a college student, you are required to demonstrate that you have examined the book from different angles. The points you raise in your book review need to be supported with clear facts and evidence.

The following are some interesting critical book review examples for college students to learn how to write a perfect review. 

Book Review Example for Class 12

Short Book Review for Students

Conclusion of Book Review Example

Short Book Review Examples for Fiction Books

Fiction book reviews follow the same basic formula as writing book reviews of any other genre. For your help, we have compiled exciting examples of fiction book reviews that you can get valuable assistance from. 

Short Book Review Example for Fiction Books

Book Review of Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

“The Hazel Wood” by Melissa Albert is a work of fiction and falls into fantasy and young adult fiction genres. The novel revolves around fantastical fairy tales, and magical realism, blurring the lines between reality and fantasy.

Here is an example of a comprehensive review of the book Hazel Wood:

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Non-Fiction Book Review Examples

For reviewing a non-fiction book, you are required to describe the book and summarize major points of interest. You should evaluate the author’s contribution to a subject that you may know very little about.

Here is a great non-fiction book review example to help you come up with a critical perspective on a text. 

Non-Fiction Book Review Example

Hopefully, with the help of the above examples, you get a better idea of how to write a perfect book review.

To wrap it up, Writing a great book review is a tricky task, no matter if you are a high school, college, or university student. Book review writing might seem like a simple task, but it requires excellent analyzing and critical thinking skills.

But, not everyone can crack this task easily. They might need additional help from expert book review writers. That’s why our expert essay writing service offers professional book review writing help whenever you need it. 

Professional essay writers at MyPerfectWords.com can help you with all your academic requests within your specified timeline. Just contact our customer service and we’ll handle all your queries promptly.

Keep the words flowing! 

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  • ISC Study Materials for Class 11
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Study Material for ISC

ISC books are per cent required reading for students in the eleventh grade. The ISC syllabus contains critical information. This exam is given by CISCE, a private education board. Every year, the board organises an examination in February/March. ISC Class 11 is the most important stage in which students must select a subject of interest from all of the subjects studied thus far. Because Class 11 is a foundation for the next board exam, students must concentrate more on the syllabus to perform well in the upcoming examination.

Vedantu offers the best study material for Class 11 ISC Study Material. Vedantu is dedicated to providing online resources such as sample papers, mock tests, question papers, Chapter-by-Chapter notes, and so on. Students on the CISCE (Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations) board can now access these materials for free. Get all of the Class 11 study materials, including sample papers and the syllabus, from our website and get a head start on your exam preparation.

ISC Class 11 Sample Paper

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ISC Class 11 Syllabus

Study material for isc class 11th.

Vedantu provides 100 percent accurate and reliable study materials that have been curated after extensive research by professional tutors with years of teaching experience. Students can effectively prepare for their exams using subject-specific materials and achieve better exam results. Download ISC Study Material for Class 11 subjects such as Chemistry, Biology, Math, and Physics. All of these materials have been created by the most recent CISCE guidelines and exam patterns. 

Vedantu offers solved sample papers and previous year papers. Refer to the solutions provided by subject matter experts to learn how to correctly answer questions in exams. Materials such as sample question papers, previous year papers, and so on can help you revise the syllabus effectively. ISC 11th Chemistry Study Materials are available for download. Similarly, ISC Class 11 Biology, Maths, and Physics study materials are available. Vedantu's website offers free PDFs of sample papers, question papers, and subject-wise notes for the Class 11 ISC exam.

Tricks and tips

Complete your tasks successfully: To be successful in life, you must be good at time management. As a result, you must prioritise your studies.

Study thoroughly: When studying a subject, make certain that you fully comprehend it. Rather than memorising a topic, try to understand it thoroughly. This will help you learn the Chapter/topic more effectively.

Create a study schedule based on your body clock: Create a study schedule based on your body clock. Schedule the most difficult subject for when you are mentally sharp and the easier one for when you are less efficient.

Past papers: Solve previous year question papers to improve your weak areas and perform well in the exam.

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FAQs on ISC Study Materials for Class 11

1. What is ISC?

ISC represents Indian School Certificate. It is an assessment directed by the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations for Grade 11 and 12. The subjects of the examination incorporate English as a mandatory subject and a rundown of elective subjects. The rundown of electives includes subjects like Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Maths, Geography, Sociology, History, Home Science, and so forth However there is no board test for Class 11, it goes about as the establishment to the subjects and parts of ISC Class 12.

2. Is the ISC an 11th board exam? 

No, the ISC Class 11 exam isn't a board exam. It is a school-level exam directed by school specialists according to the direction of CISCE. Just the question paper will come from the board and checking will be done in school as it were. This step has been taken to give a view to the students that how the paper comes and how might students get ready for this. ISC questions are simple, however, students need to have a decent order of the concept given in their books.

3. What are the best books for ISC 11? 

There are a few decent books utilized in the ISC board for Class 11. Some of the famous ones are 

Maths: ML Aggarwal 

Physics: Nootan Physics or New Millennium Physics (Dinesh Publications) 

Chemistry: ISC Chemistry by KL Chugh 

English: Prescribed course books and their exercise manuals by Beta distributions, Total English for language. No book will be of much assistance for language, it will rely completely upon the capability of your language and verbalization abilities. 

Computer: ISC Computer applications by Sumita Arora 

Hindi: Prescribed course books and their exercise manuals by Evergreen Publications.

4. Which is the best book for ISC Physics Class 11th? 

The absolute best books for ISC Class 11 Physics is Nootan Physics, and ISC Physics by K.N Sharma. Nootan Physics clarifies the basic ideas of Physics without any problem. Nootan Physics is the best book for ISC Physics Class. It's great as it will assist you with applying what you have examined by addressing the true sorted questions. Numerical examples from easy to complex have been included in them. Genuine application-based models are given. It will assist you with familiarizing yourself better with the syllabus just as some contest questions are likewise given, which will help you for the competition exam as well.

5. How is ISC different from CBSE? 

ISC is known to lay a great deal of weight on language and writing. In case you are leaning towards seeking a profession in promoting the executives, correspondence, bookkeeping, cordiality, craftsmanship or advertising, then it is smarter to concentrate in the ISC board in 11th and 12th as well as from the beginning. The educational plan is planned predominantly to further develop composed and oral relational abilities. 

CBSE then again might be the best decision, particularly in Class 11th and 12th because the schedule is practically the same as of JEE Mains. This implies that regardless of whether you get ready for boards well and are reasonably clear about your interests, you would in any case get an even score to have the option to show up for JEE Advanced or get admission in an adequate government-financed school.

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ISC English Practice

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This revised edition of ISC English Practice is designed to meet the requirements of ISC students for English Language, Paper 1.

ISC English Practice

Authors and Contributors

The 25 tests in Section One follow the pattern of the ISC examination held in and after the year 2012. A popular feature of the book, since its inception in 1976, is the choice of passages for reading comprehension. The selection in this edition, half of which is new, continues its exploration for a variety of themes and writing styles, and features the work of well-known Indian and Western writers. The material is also a useful resource for discussions and written course work in English. In Section Two, a new feature is the segment on Aural and Oral English. Folloeing the pattern prescribed by the ISC for Class XI, materials is provided for the practice and assessment of listening and speaking skills. There are online digital resource for class or self-assessment in Listening. The exercise in Grammar and Vocabulary have been revised and augmented and should help the student to focus on the use of correct English.

ISC English Practice includes:

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We have 1 ISC English Practice Senior-Secondary titles out of 1 titles across the whole ISC English Practice Course

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As the year 2024 approaches, it's crucial for ISC (Indian School Certificate) students to equip themselves with the best resources for exam preparation. Choosing the right study materials plays a vital role in achieving success. In this article, we will explore the benefits, importance, and effective usage of the best ISC books for the 2024 exams, empowering students to excel in their studies and secure excellent results.

The benefit of Best ISC Books for 2024 Exams:

Utilizing the best ISC books for the 2024 exams can provide students with several advantages. These books are specifically designed to align with the updated ISC syllabus, ensuring comprehensive coverage of all relevant topics. They offer in-depth explanations, examples, and practice questions to enhance understanding and strengthen conceptual clarity. By using these books, students can:

Gain Comprehensive Knowledge:

The best ISC books provide a well-structured and thorough overview of the subjects, covering all essential concepts and topics prescribed in the curriculum.

Enhance Problem-Solving Skills:

These books often include a wide range of practice exercises, sample papers, and previous years' question papers. Solving these can help students develop their problem-solving abilities and time management skills.

Familiarize with Exam Pattern:

ISC books for 2024 exams often include mock tests and sample papers that closely resemble the actual exam pattern. Practicing with these resources enables students to become familiar with the format, marking scheme, and question types, reducing exam anxiety and increasing confidence.

Importance of Best Books for ISC 2024 Exams:

Choosing the best books for ISC 2024 exams is crucial due to the following reasons:

Updated Content: These books are revised regularly to reflect the latest changes in the ISC syllabus. They ensure that students are studying relevant and up-to-date information.

Clarity and Accuracy: The best ISC books provide clear and accurate explanations, making complex topics more understandable. The authors often employ concise language and utilize diagrams, charts, and graphs to aid comprehension.

Exam-Focused Approach: These books are designed to cater specifically to the ISC exam requirements, focusing on the essential topics and concepts that are likely to be tested. They streamline the learning process, allowing students to prioritize their study areas effectively.

How to Use Best ISC Books for 2024 Exams Effectively:

To make the most of the best ISC books for 2024 exams, students can follow these strategies:

Start Early: Begin studying with these books well in advance, allowing ample time for comprehensive coverage of the syllabus and revision.

Understand the Syllabus: Familiarize yourself with the ISC exam syllabus and identify the topics covered. Use the books as a guide to ensure you cover all the required areas.

Plan a Study Schedule: Create a realistic study schedule, allocating dedicated time for each subject. Divide your study sessions into smaller, manageable chunks to improve focus and retention.

Active Reading: Engage actively with the content by taking notes, highlighting key points, and solving practice questions. Regularly review your notes to reinforce your understanding.

Practice Regularly: Utilize the practice exercises, sample papers, and previous years' question papers provided in these books. Regular practice will help you identify your strengths and weaknesses, enabling focused revision.

Seek Clarification: If you encounter any doubts or difficulties while studying, don't hesitate to consult your teachers, classmates, or online resources. Ensure your understanding of concepts before moving forward.

Conclusion:

Choosing the best ISC books for the 2024 exams is an essential step toward achieving excellent results. These books provide comprehensive knowledge, enhance problem-solving skills, and familiarize students with the exam pattern. By using these books effectively, students can maximize their learning potential and boost their chances of success in the ISC 2024 exams. Remember, consistent effort, dedication, and a strategic approach to studying will yield fruitful results. Good luck!

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A Coming-of-Age Tale From the World of London High Finance

In “The Trading Game,” Gary Stevenson spills secrets of the City.

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The photograph portrays a group of suited office workers walking in front of a pale stone building.

By Mark Gimein

Mark Gimein is an editor at The Week.

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THE TRADING GAME: A Confession, by Gary Stevenson

A coming-of-age story needs a love interest, a nemesis, a sturdy foundation of adversity and a generous seasoning of youthful rage and yearning.

In “The Trading Game,” Gary Stevenson’s takes place in the world of London high finance — a promising setting. At its best, the book is nicely paced, with an engaging cast of drunkards and neurotics thrown together in Citigroup’s London trading room. You can learn a fair amount about the perils of excessive drinking and the loneliness of early love.

What you will not learn very much about is finance.

And the promise of “The Trading Game” is, implicitly, that while speeding along on Stevenson’s nonfiction romp through London one will eventually unlock the secret of how the rich get ever-richer while sending the global economy down the drain. On this, it does not deliver.

At the start of the story, the 19-year-old Stevenson, a scrapper from the East End whose math abilities have gotten him into the London School of Economics amid a class of Oxford-shirted nepo babies, wins a contest — the “trading game” of the title. The prize is a short internship at Citigroup, where Stevenson’s canny willingness to fetch lunch for the traders wins him another internship, and eventually a position on the London STIRT (short-term interest rates trading) desk.

Stevenson does a creditable job of explaining just what the desk does: Essentially, traders use “swaps” to bet on the direction of interest rates in multiple currencies. By no means, though, do you need a deep understanding of foreign exchange swaps to appreciate the book.

Or, for that matter, to work on the desk. In Stevenson’s telling, Citi’s London office is populated with traders whose main occupation seems to be competing with one another’s after-hours liquor intake. Each gets a pseudonym and a set of drinking habits. One gets soused at elaborate Japanese banquets; another is prone to relieving himself against the walls of the Bank of England.

The traders have only a rough idea of what they are doing and why, and that’s fine. Their skill is largely guessing what other traders in the market will be doing and frequently doing the opposite. At the time that the story takes place, mostly shortly after the 2008 financial crisis, they are helped along by the malaise of a world economy that brings central bank interest rates down to zero. That, in turn, means that Stevenson and his mates on the desk can effectively borrow hundreds of millions of dollars one day at a time, for free, and make money lending them out to other banks (the exact mechanism is a little more complex).

With an East End chip on his shoulder, Stevenson picks up what lessons he can from his fellow traders and resolves to be better than any of them. He succeeds, racking up what seems to be the biggest bonus on the desk.

His secret is understanding that interest rates will be close to zero forever, because the world is hopelessly unequal, the economy will always be in crisis and the rich will get richer. Most people seem to be impressed; but then they would be — it is, after all, Stevenson’s book.

Along the way, Stevenson acquires and breaks up with a girlfriend, nicknamed Wizard, who is not impressed, and keeps telling Stevenson that if he doesn’t like his job he should quit. He can’t quite get himself to take that advice, and having conquered London FX swaps, Stevenson is sent to the backwater of the Tokyo office, and buried under layers of managers. It’s frankly a hard-to-explain transition for a kid who is supposed to have been, as Stevenson claims, Citi’s “most profitable trader” (an unverifiable and eyebrow-raising assertion) and makes the reader wonder what might have been skipped over.

Speaking of omissions, there are some. Notably, right around the time that Stevenson worked at Citi, major banks were involved in a scandal around the manipulation of esoteric but crucial interest rates (Libor, for the “London Interbank Offer Rate,” and the less well-known Isdafix). These were exactly the kind of rates that are central to the working of the STIRT desk. Unpacking that might better help explain the extraordinary profits that Stevenson raked in — more than his broad-brush theory of global inequality.

Should Stevenson have gone there? Let’s be real: The ins and outs of interest rates hold many eye-glazing possibilities. The best books about finance navigate this tricky equation and manage to make that kind of thing gripping. Novels about Wall Street, on the other hand, skip the details entirely.

“The Trading Game” falls somewhere in the middle. As a novel, it wouldn’t quite cut it: The dialogue is frequently too on the nose. And the denouement of the book, in which the action switches from the trading floor to the H.R. office and Stevenson’s efforts to walk away from Citi with his $2 million-something in bonuses intact, isn’t exactly a nail-biter.

I suspect that if Stevenson had told H.R. to shove it and left the money on the table, he might have been able to write a juicier exposé. But there’s a reason that those are exceedingly rare. When the game is done, the insiders tend to have a choice of getting the money, or the story. And the money usually wins out.

THE TRADING GAME : A Confession | By Gary Stevenson | Crown Currency | 329 pp. | $28

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ISC Class 11 Books are essential study resources for students for their exam preparation. Class 11 is a crucial stage in students’ academic careers. Since the 11th standard is the building block for the next class, Class 11 students must focus properly in order to score well in the examination. Selecting the right preparation books is very important if a student wants to excel in the examination. The ISC books for Class 11 are given here so that students can prepare for their board exams more effectively.

ISC Class 11 Books are the most important element when it comes to preparing for exams. It helps students to clear their doubts and helps them understand each and every concept easily. The ISC Class 11 Books for Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, and Biology are provided below. By Studying ICSE Books for Class 11, students get an in-depth knowledge of the subjects. They can easily access the ISC Books for Class 11 from the table below.

Students are suggested to follow these ISC books if they want to prepare for their exams in a better way. Along with studying the concepts, students are advised to solve the questions and problems contained in the ICSE Books for Class 11. This will help them to understand the concepts properly and will also develop their speed and accuracy in solving the questions.

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The Survivors of the Clotilda by Hannah Durkin.

The Survivors of the Clotilda , by Hannah Durkin (Amistad) . The last known slave ship to reach U.S. soil, the Clotilda, arrived in 1860, more than fifty years after the transatlantic slave trade was federally outlawed. This history details the lives of the people it carried, from their kidnappings in West Africa to their deaths in the twentieth century. Durkin, a scholar of slavery and the African diaspora, traces them to communities in Alabama established by the formerly enslaved, such as Africatown and Gee’s Bend, and finds in their stories antecedents for the Harlem Renaissance and the civil-rights movement. Amid descriptions of child trafficking, sexual abuse, and racial violence, Durkin also celebrates the resilience and resistance of the Clotilda’s survivors. “Their lives were so much richer than the countless crimes committed against them,” she writes.

Goodbye Russia by Fiona Maddocks.

Goodbye Russia , by Fiona Maddocks (Pegasus) . This biography of Sergei Rachmaninoff focusses on the quarter century that he spent in exile in the United States, after the Russian Revolution, when he established himself across the West as a highly sought-after concert pianist. In place of extensive compositional analyses (during this time, the composer wrote only six new pieces), Maddocks offers a character study punctuated by colorful source material, including acerbic diary entries by Prokofiev, which betray both envy of and affection for his competitor. Maddocks notes such idiosyncrasies as Rachmaninoff’s infatuation with fast cars, but she also captures his sense of otherness; he never became fluent in English, and his yearning for a lost Russia shadowed his monumental success.

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Held by Anne Michaels.

Held , by Anne Michaels (Knopf) . This episodic, philosophical novel orbits a group of loosely connected characters living between 1917 and 2025. It begins in France, during the First World War, with a British soldier lying on the ground after an explosion. We follow him home to North Yorkshire, where he works as a portrait photographer in whose images spirits begin to appear. Later, we meet his granddaughter, who provides medical care in war zones. Throughout, characters ponder the boundaries between the physical and the ineffable, the mortal and the spiritual. Sometimes they reach epigrammatic epiphanies, as when one realizes that “everything she had thought of as loss was something found.”

The Fetishist by Katherine Min.

The Fetishist , by Katherine Min (Putnam) . The blooming and dissolution of a romance forms the core of this wistful, often funny, posthumously published novel. “Once Asian, never again Caucasian,” jokes Alma, a Korean American concert cellist, to Daniel, a white violinist, the first night they sleep together. Eventually, Alma will break off their engagement after discovering that Daniel, the book’s titular fetishist, has been having an affair with another Asian American woman. When that woman dies by suicide, her daughter seeks revenge. The resulting series of escalating high jinks, which includes the use of blowfish poison, verges on the farcical, but the novel’s major chord is one of rueful longing.

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Charles Spencer, Princess Diana’s brother, speaks out about ‘devastating’ abuse at British boarding school

Charles Spencer, the younger brother of the late Princess Diana, was only 8 when he was sent away to an all-boys boarding school in the English countryside. 

Maidwell Hall catered to the upper crust of British society. But Spencer says what he experienced from the staff — blows to the head with a signet ring, a beating with metal-spiked cricket cleats and sexual abuse by a female caretaker — has haunted him for nearly 50 years.

“We were like prisoners,” Spencer said in his first interview since the publication of his new book, “A Very Private School.” “We were prey to very bad people’s worst instincts.”

Spencer attended the school until age 13 and went on to become a historian, podcaster and bestselling author. He said he felt compelled to write the book after several former students confided in him their dark memories and lasting trauma.

“Their stories are so devastating, and they are stories they’ve never told anyone,” said Spencer, who interviewed about two dozen former classmates who attended the school with him in the mid-1970s. 

“As soon as I got stuck into the writing of it and interviewed more and more people, I realized that this was a serious scandal.”

A Maidwell Hall spokesperson said the school is taking Spencer’s allegations seriously and has reached out to the local authority charged with protecting children in the U.K., the local authority designated officer, or LADO.

“We will follow their guidance on what we do from this point,” the spokesperson said. “We would encourage anyone with similar experiences to come forward and contact the LADO or the police.”

Charles Spencer age four, in September 1968, happily setting out for their first day at Silfield School, with his sister Diana reassuringly by his side.

Spencer, the godson of Queen Elizabeth II and the uncle of the future king, was born into privilege but still endured a complicated childhood. 

He was 2 when his mother divorced his father and left the family home. His father was loving but withdrawn and seemingly depressed, Spencer said. Diana became his protector. On his first day at their local day school, little Diana insisted on leaving her classroom to check in on him.

“Four years after that," he said, “I was 8 being sent off to a brutal place by myself, saying goodbye to Diana, who I grew up with, and my nanny, who was my mother substitute, standing by my school trunk, the big chest with all of my stuff in it.”

Spencer arrived at the school in 1972.

Maidwell Hall sits on sprawling, picturesque grounds in Northamptonshire, about two hours north of London. At the heart of the estate is a 17th century manor house. The roughly 75 boys at the school all lived on the grounds surrounded by stone walls. 

Spencer soon learned that inside those walls, violence and cruelty reigned. 

Boys were routinely beaten with canes for minor transgressions. Others were struck with heavy window poles, Spencer said.

It was not uncommon to see students in the communal shower rooms with split-open skin and bloody welts on their buttocks from the canings. 

Spencer blames the school’s headmaster, John Alexander Hector Porch, for its culture of cruelty. Porch ran Maidwell the entire time Spencer attended (he is now deceased). 

“The headmaster was, in my view, a pedophile and a sadist,” Spencer said. “And he staffed the school with either people who were going along with what he was doing or who were going to be mute about it.”

Charles Spencer departs for his first day at Maidwell Hall.

Porch would force the young boys to drop their pants and their underwear and lie across his lap to be whipped. He sometimes fondled their genitals in the process, Spencer said. 

Many of the boys selected for the beatings were the same physical type, a “type that the headmaster seemed to like,” Spencer said.

“He liked athletic boys, and he liked blond boys.”

Spencer said that he wasn’t whipped by Porch but that he was subjected to other forms of brutality by the headmaster. Porch’s “usual weapon” was a slipper, and even that was painful. “But it wasn’t the cutting pain of the cane,” Spencer said.

The abuse wasn’t spoken of in school. It also remained hidden from parents in part, Spencer believes, because of the messages the headmaster and others drilled into the boys: Don’t show emotion, and don’t speak of what happens at Maidwell. 

“The most important code of this very flawed regime that I was part of was never to tell tales, not to ‘sneak,’ as they call it,” Spencer said. “I think all of this was very much designed to make you not talk about it and really to try and suppress the memories.”

Porch inspired terror, but he wasn’t the only adult Spencer and the other boys feared.

One day, Spencer was alone inside a locker room changing his clothes to play cricket when a male teacher walked in. “He just grabbed me and threw me over his knee,” Spencer said.

Then the man picked up Spencer’s spiked cricket cleat.

“He beat me and beat me, puncturing my behind, and then just moved away,” Spencer said. “He found an easy victim to assault.”

Mr. Jack Porch's farewell speech on signing off from his fifteen-year tenure at Maidwell in 1978.

Another teacher seemed to take special pleasure in inflicting pain on Spencer. This man often railed against wealth inequality, and Spencer now realizes his moneyed upbringing made him an obvious target.

“He’d hit me a lot,” Spencer said.

But it wasn’t the man’s fists that did the most damage. It was his signet ring. 

“He used to do this very clever maneuver where he’d hit me and then with the signet ring cut me in the scalp,” Spencer said. “It would bleed and crust.”

“It’s astonishing to me now that you could direct that venom and physical brutality towards children openly and no one says anything,” Spencer added. 

Still, Spencer’s most enduring trauma was caused by one of the least intimidating figures on the staff, a young woman charged with taking care of the boys. 

Spencer was 11 when he moved into a remote sleeping area that was under her charge. 

“It would start with her coming round after the lights were turned out in the dormitory and giving any boy awake maybe cookies, maybe grapes, something like that,” Spencer said. 

In time, she began to come around to Spencer’s bed when others were asleep but not to sneak him snacks. She would kiss him. Passionately.

“French kiss for ages,” Spencer said. “If I was 17, 18, it would be a different thing. But I was 11, and it was so confusing.”

Looking back, he says, “of course, it was terrible.”

Charles gets changed by Maidwell's swimming pool for the final time, on his very last day at the school, in July 1977. Within an hour of this photograph's being taken, he was being driven home by his father — sad to be saying goodbye to friends, delighted to have finished at the school.

But at the time, “I’m embarrassed to say it was thrilling, especially in an emotional desert such as that place was,” Spencer said. 

Unlike some of the boys, the woman didn’t have sexual intercourse with Spencer. But he said she did touch his private parts and force him to touch hers.

She was also a “master of manipulation,” he wrote in the book. “With a sudden huff or a deliberate turning of her back, she would publicly shun one of the children she was molesting.”

When the woman announced that she was leaving the school, Spencer said, he was shattered. 

“I remember cutting myself,” he said. “I thought, if I hurt myself enough, then God will let her stay.” 

But her departure wasn’t the end of the experience for him. 

During a holiday break a few months later, Spencer, then 12, was in Italy with his mother and stepfather. They were near their hotel when they pointed out a prostitute who was standing outside. 

He later snuck out of the hotel and tracked down the sex worker, paying for her services with “pocket money.” 

“I lost my virginity to a prostitute,” he said. “I see that as the completion of what she” — the woman at Maidwell — “had done to me.”

He told no one until he was 42 and seeing a therapist. It came out after the therapist asked him to whisper something he had never told anyone. “I said, ‘I was sexually abused by a woman when I was a child.’”

He didn’t tell his wife about the sexual abuse until he began writing the book.

The stories Spencer heard from his classmates were brutal. One of them told him that he still has scars on his buttocks from the last time he was beaten in 1977.

Charles Spencer at Althorp in March 2024.

Spencer said he would often return home after such interviews feeling so emotionally exhausted he could barely move. It took him five years to complete the interviews and write the book. 

“What was so overwhelming was going to meet people who I thought I knew, who lived this very intense life with me when we were children,” Spencer said. “They told me about how poorly they were sexually, physically or emotionally abused, and it was devastating.”

He spoke to NBC News at his sweeping Althorp estate, which has been in the family since 1508. The property encompasses more than 10,000 acres of farm and parkland, part of which he has devoted to a garden temple surrounded by water as Diana’s final resting place. 

“I told a friend about this recently,” Spencer said, referring to the abuse he suffered at Maidwell. “And [the friend] said, ‘I just can’t believe you weren’t protected,’ as if coming from this incredibly privileged background somehow would be protection against pedophiles.” 

The Maidwell Hall spokesperson described the experiences Spencer and other alumni had at the school as “sobering.” 

“We are sorry that was their experience,”  the spokesperson said. “It is difficult to read about practices which were, sadly, sometimes believed to be normal and acceptable at that time.” 

Spencer acknowledged that he received an excellent education at Maidwell Hall, and, like many other students, he went on to attend two other elite schools, Eton and Oxford.

He emphasized that he isn’t opposed to boarding schools for older children, but he does believe it shouldn’t be legal to send children away to them as young as 8.

Charles Spencer with his sister Diana and nanny Mary Clarke to see him off as he headed to Maidwell Hall; Charles Spencer in his Maidwell Sunday Best suit.

Maidwell Hall “was built on a lie common to institutions of its type: on the cock-and-bull notion that children were better off under its roof, learning to be biddable, influential members of society, rather than living as we should have done, as nature intended, with our families,” he wrote in the book. 

He wrote the book not for sympathy, he said, but to help all of those who have suffered as children in abusive settings.

Spencer dedicates “A Very Private School” to Buzz, the nickname his family gave him before he went away to Maidwell, because he had the “happy effervescence of a bee.”

“That was the boy who had part of him snuffed out during those five years at the school,” Spencer said. “So I wanted to reconnect with the carefree happy little guy I was before I was sent to this place.”  

He said he feels he’s well on the way to reclaiming that lost childhood. 

book review isc 11

Cynthia McFadden is the senior legal and investigative correspondent for NBC News.

Gabriel García Márquez’s sons publish the novel he wanted destroyed

The arrival of ‘until august’ raises new questions about how to weigh the wishes of authors after they die.

book review isc 11

It seems hardly a week goes by that I don’t hear from another friend who is struggling with the challenges of aging parents.

The world is graying at an exponential rate , and my peers are faced with managing the complexities of the previous generation’s failing bodies. Many are going through the wrenching experience of watching the mom or dad they once knew slip away, fading into the fog of varying degrees of memory loss or of full-on dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. What then to make of the things Mom and Dad say? How to assess the wishes they express for this life and for after they’re gone?

The sons of the Nobel Prize-winning author Gabriel García Márquez encountered this conundrum regarding a manuscript that supposedly frustrated the Colombian master of magical realism while he was in the grips of dementia in his final years. It lay unpublished for nearly a decade after his death in 2014 . In a decision that has already generated controversy, Rodrigo and Gonzalo García Barcha have chosen to publish “ Until August ,” apparently against their father’s final wishes.

The sons write in a preface that their father, affectionately known as “Gabo,” had been in “a race between his artistic perfectionism and his vanishing mental faculties.” All they knew, they write, “was Gabo’s final judgment: “This book doesn’t work. It must be destroyed.”

They allow that “Until August” is not “as polished as his greatest books,” but they reasoned that those flaws would not keep readers from enjoying “the most outstanding aspects of Gabo’s work.” Their “act of betrayal,” they write, is meant “to put his readers’ pleasure ahead of all other considerations. If they are delighted, it’s possible Gabo might forgive us.”

“Until August,” which was translated into English by the ever-skillful Anne McLean, tells the story of a middle-aged married woman, Ana Magdalena Bach, who travels each year to an island to lay gladioli at the grave of her mother. On one of those trips, she picks up a silver-haired stranger in a linen suit at a hotel bar. She invites him up to her room, where she feels a “delicious terror,” this being the first time she will see a naked adult other than her husband.

He is an “exquisite lover,” and they have a fantastically satisfying one-night stand. But the memory is forever ruined when she wakes up the next morning to find that the man has not only slipped out without saying goodbye but has also placed a $20 bill in a book she’d been reading on the bedside table.

On subsequent trips Ana looks, at times desperately, for other hookups. Once, despairing that she might not “find a lover for the night,” she even takes to flagging down random cars on the promenade. The descriptions of her trips include some real groaners — lines more reminiscent of a Harlequin romance than the work of one of the world’s most acclaimed and sophisticated novelists.

“He took the hint and upped his game, guiding her by the waist with his fingertips, like a flower.”

“He then gave her an innocent kiss that shook her to her core, and kept kissing her while removing her clothes piece by piece with magical mastery, until they succumbed to an abyss of pleasure.”

Ana’s steamy annual jaunts to the island take place despite — or is it because of? — a very active and creative sex life with her husband. She also has a daughter who goes AWOL with a lover but wants to become a nun, wagering that vows of chastity will become a thing of the past.

If any of this sounds familiar, it might be because parts of this unpublished book have been, well, published. The first — and by far the best — of six chapters was read aloud by García Márquez at a forum in Madrid in 1999 before the onset of dementia, and published that same year by the Spanish newspaper El País. An English-language translation by Edith Grossman appeared in the New Yorker. Another chapter was published in 2003.

Smushing these disparate chapters together with a few that hadn’t been publicly revealed is one of the fundamental problems with “Until August.” García Márquez’s sons see the book as an exemplar of their father’s focus on love, which they describe as “possibly the main subject of his entire oeuvre.” But there’s little insight about love to be found here amid the cringey sex scenes. “Until August” only occasionally gives glimpses of the master stylist. In a penultimate scene, Ana disinters her mother’s remains. “Not only did she see her as she had been in life, with the same inconsolable sadness, but she felt seen by her from death, loved and wept for, until the body disintegrated into dust and all that was left was the decayed skeleton, which the gravediggers brushed off with a broom and swept pitilessly into a sack.”

Still, the story of the book’s publication turns out to be more interesting than the book itself. According to an editor’s note, García Márquez’s assistant found two unfinished manuscripts in a drawer in the novelist’s study in 2002, shortly after he completed his memoir, “Living to Tell the Tale.” One of them became his final published book, “Memories of My Melancholy Whores.”

The other — “Until August” — occupied him for the next two years, writes the editor Cristóbal Pera, who says that García Márquez ended up with five versions.

This was The Post's review of "One Hundred Years of Solitude"

After completing the fifth version in 2004, Pera writes, García Márquez stopped work on the novel and told his assistant, “Sometimes books need to be left to rest.” Pera later surmised that the fifth version was the author’s favorite because García Márquez wrote a note on it: “Gran OK final.” For those who read Spanish, one of the pleasures of the handsomely bound book is the reproductions of several typewritten pages of the original manuscript with García Márquez’s handwritten notes and revisions.

The allure of a posthumously published work such as this one is undeniable, thick with intrigue and speculation. These books also can sometimes be splendid. Think about the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “A Confederacy of Dunces,” published in 1980, 11 years after its author, John Kennedy Toole, died by suicide — and only because his mother pestered the iconic Southern writer Walker Percy to champion it.

Recently, the cable channel FX scored a hit with the dishy limited series “Feud: Capote vs. the Swans,” inspired by Truman Capote’s unfinished novel “Answered Prayers,” which was published posthumously in 1987. Three years ago, Nick Cornwell, the son of David Cornwell — whose pen name was John le Carré — said his father had asked him to finish any incomplete work left behind when he died. With a little “syncretic textual knitting” and a “clandestine brush‚” the younger Cornwell published a solidly readable, though not A-list, le Carré book titled “ Silverview .”

John le Carré left behind a novel, ‘Silverview.’

It gets more complicated when authors specifically state that their unpublished or incomplete work not see the light of day. In one of the most famous examples, Franz Kafka’s executor ignored his request that unpublished work be destroyed after his death. Instead, two books — including “The Trial” — and a collection of Kafka’s works were published.

Now García Márquez’s sons have made the same choice — for better or worse. It’s hard to reconcile that choice with something Rodrigo García Barcha wrote in his own book about his parents, “A Farewell to Gabo and Mercedes: A Son’s Memoir,” published in 2021. Rodrigo wrote that his father did not like to keep early drafts of his books, and he recalled sitting with his brother, Gonzalo, on the floor of their father’s study to “help him rip up entire previous versions” of his work and discard them.

“An unhappy image, I am sure, for collectors and students of his process,” Rodrigo wrote.

Gabriel García Márquez’s son recalls the death of a literary giant

But when it comes to “Until August,” the students had already been taken care of. Drafts of the book are housed with García Márquez’s papers at the University of Texas at Austin.

To my mind, Gabo was right — this book really doesn’t work. His sons, it seems to me, made the wrong choice by ignoring his wishes.

But it was also an impossible choice.

Manuel Roig-Franzia is a Washington Post staff writer and former Mexico City bureau chief.

Until August

By Gabriel García Márquez; translated from Spanish by Anne McLean

Knopf. 129 pp. $22

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

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