Nabokov's Favourite Word Is Mauve
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Nabokov's Favourite Word Is Mauve : The literary quirks and oddities of our most-loved authors

3.84 (582 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

What are our favourite authors' words? Which bestselling writer uses the most cliches? How can we judge a book by its cover? Data meets literature in this playful and informative look at our favourite authors and their masterpieces. 'What fun this is! Ben Blatt's charming book applies numerical know-how to questions of literary style, teasing out insights about cliffhangers, adverbs' JORDAN ELLENBERG, author of How Not to Be Wrong 'Lively ... worthwhile ... Read this book thoughtfully. It's fun. And, I think, the shape of interesting things to come' The Times 'Fascinating ... the book had me humming with pleasure' The Sunday Times Nabokov's Favourite Word is Mauve is a playful look at what the numbers have to say about our favourite authors and their classic books. Journalist and statistician Ben Blatt asks the questions that have intrigued curious book lovers for generations: Does each writer have their own stylistic footprint? Do men and women write differently? What are the crutch words our best-loved authors fall back on? Spanning from Shakespeare and Jane Austen to fan fiction, JK Rowling and Stephen King, Blatt reveals the quirks and oddities of the world's greatest writers. This is a lighthearted, humorous book that uses numbers to inform our understanding of words to enlighten, to clarify, and, above all, to entertain.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 288 pages
  • 135 x 216 x 25mm | 414g
  • Simon & Schuster Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1471152820
  • 9781471152825
  • 24,087

About Ben Blatt

Ben Blatt is a staff writer for Slate, where he has garnered a solid fan following with articles including 'Text Analysis of the Hunger Games' and 'Which Friends were the Closest Friends?' (see included links in the proposal). He is a recent Harvard graduate and a Harvard Lampoon alumnus. Grove released his first book, I Don't Care If We Never Get Back: 30 Games in 30 Days on the Best Worst Baseball Road Trip Ever, co-written with Eric Brewster, this spring - a humorous account of their road trip to all 30 Major League Baseball parks that Ben designed via computer algorithm:show more

Review quote

'This is really the most delicious kind of rabbit hole ... If you're a writer, you won't be able to resist it. If you know a writer, give this as a gift and find yourself adored. ... It can be dipped into like a squirrel's nut hoard, enjoyed a quick nibble at a time, or dived into headfirst, one fascinating tidbit leading to the next to the next to the next' -- Publishers Weekly, Shelf Talker column 'Book-lovers will delight in Nabokov's Favourite Word Is Mauve ... accessible, entertaining, and enlightening' -- Bustle 'Lively ... worthwhile ... Read this book thoughtfully. It's fun. And, I think, the shape of some very interesting things to come' -- The Times 'Delivers a statistical study of literature in the vein of Freakonomics ... [Blatt] approaches the subject with the right mix of humour, hand-holding and literary love ... yield[s] insights which would be impossible to recognize on their own' -- Paste Magazine 'Fascinating ... the book had me humming with pleasure' -- The Sunday Times 'Nate Silver-esque number crunching meets the canon in this quirky, arresting deconstruction of literature's greatest hits' -- O, The Oprah Magazine 'Enlightening' -- Wall Street Journal '[A] fun and interesting book ... his breezy and engaging volume fulfills its promise to provide the reader with an appreciation or deeper understanding of an author or favorite writer ... and alerts the writer to the trends, patterns and uses of grammar, vocabulary and punctuation in one's own writing' -- New Romanticist 'Amiable and intelligent ... literature enthusiasts will enjoy the hypotheses [Blatt] poses and his imaginative methods' -- Publishers Weekly 'Illuminating entertainment ... Literary criticism by the numbers' -- Kirkus Reviews `It was statisticians, rather than historians, who cracked the centuries' old mystery of the Federalist Papers-and they did it with mere paper and pencil. Operating in the same investigative spirit-and with the benefit of vastly more powerful tools-Ben Blatt probes the literary canon for unexpected revelations and insights. The result is a literary detective story: fast-paced, thought-provoking, and intriguing. In Nabokov's Favorite Word is Mauve we learn what separates authors' great works from their lesser ones, how our literary tastes have changed over the years, and, charmingly, whether some of the writers most prone to dispensing literary advice actually practice what they preach.' -- Brian Christian, co-author of Algorithms to Live By 'Ben Blatt's delightful book gives us an original big data perspective on great writers' work. Its humour, insights and statistical displays are fascinating to behold, even as it helps us develop our own writing' -- Carl N. Morris, Professor Emeritus of Statistics, Harvard University 'What fun this is! Ben Blatt's charming book applies numerical know-how to questions of literary style, teasing out insights about cliffhangers, adverbs' -- Jordan Ellenberg, author of How Not to Be Wrongshow more

Rating details

582 ratings
3.84 out of 5 stars
5 23% (134)
4 44% (258)
3 28% (164)
2 3% (20)
1 1% (6)
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