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The Book of Great Books: A Guide to 100 World Classics

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Dr. MAYA ANGELOU has said about this book: "Brilliant! Write on, John Campbell." The book analyzes 100 of the world's great books by focusing intensely on the plot, characters, style, social trends of the period in which each book was written, and so on. It has sold more than one million copies and its readers include students of all ages and their parents: lawyers, docto Dr. MAYA ANGELOU has said about this book: "Brilliant! Write on, John Campbell." The book analyzes 100 of the world's great books by focusing intensely on the plot, characters, style, social trends of the period in which each book was written, and so on. It has sold more than one million copies and its readers include students of all ages and their parents: lawyers, doctors, mathematicians, teachers of English & World literature, scientists, gaming programmers, and readers of every cultural and ethnic background who seek to know more about 100 of the world's most important books. Future volumes will contain different works from many countries around the world. The New York Times wrote that "The Book of Great Books unlocks the secrets to 100 of the world's most enduring novels, plays, and epic poems. Encompassing great works by authors from Homer to Hemingway and from Machiavelli to Toni Morrison, this book will guide you through the plot twists, major themes, and key details that make these classics so enduringly classic." The Book of Great Books is a treasure trove of information. Entries provide you with a thumbnail of historical background, the story's main themes and symbols, insights into the language and style of the work, critical perspectives, and a remarkably handy character diagram that clarifies the relationships among the characters. High comedy, foul murder, political intrigue, and the world's greatest love stories—the pantheon of great works is yours to enjoy with this volume that makes great writing more accessible. 866 pages


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Dr. MAYA ANGELOU has said about this book: "Brilliant! Write on, John Campbell." The book analyzes 100 of the world's great books by focusing intensely on the plot, characters, style, social trends of the period in which each book was written, and so on. It has sold more than one million copies and its readers include students of all ages and their parents: lawyers, docto Dr. MAYA ANGELOU has said about this book: "Brilliant! Write on, John Campbell." The book analyzes 100 of the world's great books by focusing intensely on the plot, characters, style, social trends of the period in which each book was written, and so on. It has sold more than one million copies and its readers include students of all ages and their parents: lawyers, doctors, mathematicians, teachers of English & World literature, scientists, gaming programmers, and readers of every cultural and ethnic background who seek to know more about 100 of the world's most important books. Future volumes will contain different works from many countries around the world. The New York Times wrote that "The Book of Great Books unlocks the secrets to 100 of the world's most enduring novels, plays, and epic poems. Encompassing great works by authors from Homer to Hemingway and from Machiavelli to Toni Morrison, this book will guide you through the plot twists, major themes, and key details that make these classics so enduringly classic." The Book of Great Books is a treasure trove of information. Entries provide you with a thumbnail of historical background, the story's main themes and symbols, insights into the language and style of the work, critical perspectives, and a remarkably handy character diagram that clarifies the relationships among the characters. High comedy, foul murder, political intrigue, and the world's greatest love stories—the pantheon of great works is yours to enjoy with this volume that makes great writing more accessible. 866 pages

30 review for The Book of Great Books: A Guide to 100 World Classics

  1. 4 out of 5

    Gary

    I've done it! W J Campbell has inspired me to read classics and I now have finished all 100 books in his simply beautiful reference book. I never would have finished the 265 classic books I've read so far if I hadn't come across his book on books. It is a brief recapitalization of great works and should be treated as an aid not a complete cheat book for delinquent teenagers to finish high school without actually reading a book. I've found true pleasure in learning about each title after I finish I've done it! W J Campbell has inspired me to read classics and I now have finished all 100 books in his simply beautiful reference book. I never would have finished the 265 classic books I've read so far if I hadn't come across his book on books. It is a brief recapitalization of great works and should be treated as an aid not a complete cheat book for delinquent teenagers to finish high school without actually reading a book. I've found true pleasure in learning about each title after I finished the individual books. One thing is wrong though, I didn't see a follow up book or any way to thank Professor Campbell for the hard work it must of took to combine and author his book of great books. If ever I go back to college I will bring this book with me.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Myth

    *I've had this in reading limbo since 2007 since it's not a book I'll read cover to cover, but rather a guide and the sort I might look up a specific book. I gave it a five star, because this is the sort of book that it either did what I wanted it to or it didn't. I got what I wanted/expected, so thumbs up. 2007 Because this is a huge collection of summaries on the classics it's taking me a while to get through. The summaries are interesting, but don't really fill the gap for a regular story. This *I've had this in reading limbo since 2007 since it's not a book I'll read cover to cover, but rather a guide and the sort I might look up a specific book. I gave it a five star, because this is the sort of book that it either did what I wanted it to or it didn't. I got what I wanted/expected, so thumbs up. 2007 Because this is a huge collection of summaries on the classics it's taking me a while to get through. The summaries are interesting, but don't really fill the gap for a regular story. This is kind of my side reading. I think it's a very useful book to read if you don't want to read all the classics. That was part of the reason I got it. I don't plan to read all these classics and some of them are so old that the language is hard to understand. This is a book for readers and non-readers who want to be informed in literature.

  3. 4 out of 5

    StrangeBedfellows

    I probably would never have bought this book if I hadn't purchased it at a discount price. If you imagine a stack of SparksNotes bound together, you get an idea of what this book has to offer. It's useful as a general tool, especially for high school or lower-division literature studies. However, some of the information is questionable and I wonder at some of the titles selected/omitted for this book. If you can pick a copy up for a few bucks and you're interested in overviews of some major work I probably would never have bought this book if I hadn't purchased it at a discount price. If you imagine a stack of SparksNotes bound together, you get an idea of what this book has to offer. It's useful as a general tool, especially for high school or lower-division literature studies. However, some of the information is questionable and I wonder at some of the titles selected/omitted for this book. If you can pick a copy up for a few bucks and you're interested in overviews of some major works, I'd say, 'go for it.' However, more advance literary students might turn their noses up.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sharon Beers

    This gives a lot of information about the 100 classic books chosen - info about the author, about the characters and chronological details of the plot by chapter. It is broken into several sections for each book - Plot Summary, Background, Key Characters, Main Themes and Ideas, Main Symbols, Style and Structure. Very good reference.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sterlingcindysu

    This guide lists short synopsis of novels, plays and epic poems, from Shakespeare to Plato and Virgil to modern day writers. Campbell describes plot, characters, meaning of symbols, main themes and ideas and authors’ backgrounds. This helped me to make a list of classic books to be read.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Cindy Huskey

    This one's a keeper! From the perspective of a former AP English teacher and current librarian, this is a great reference book for any reader. The list of 100 classics is organized alphabetically by title, which is helpful for those who find titles rather than authors' names easier to remember. Each entry has the same format: a one-sentence summary; detailed plot summary broken down by sections of scenes, chapters, or books according to the format of the text; character chart (very useful graphic This one's a keeper! From the perspective of a former AP English teacher and current librarian, this is a great reference book for any reader. The list of 100 classics is organized alphabetically by title, which is helpful for those who find titles rather than authors' names easier to remember. Each entry has the same format: a one-sentence summary; detailed plot summary broken down by sections of scenes, chapters, or books according to the format of the text; character chart (very useful graphic for some novels); background information about the novel (e.g., type of work, author information, etc.); key characters list with descriptions; main themes & ideas; main symbols; style & structure; and critical overview.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Peter Curtiss

    There's not too much to say - a compilation of book summaries of classics that read like spark notes. It's hard to get that spectacularly wrong or spectacularly right. The relationship infographics/trees in each section were pretty useful - eventually I started reading those first and the summaries after. As far as compilation selection went it seems, in my unuanced opinion, that too great an emphasis was placed on Shakespeare - 14/100 of the books were his. There's not too much to say - a compilation of book summaries of classics that read like spark notes. It's hard to get that spectacularly wrong or spectacularly right. The relationship infographics/trees in each section were pretty useful - eventually I started reading those first and the summaries after. As far as compilation selection went it seems, in my unuanced opinion, that too great an emphasis was placed on Shakespeare - 14/100 of the books were his.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Brianna Brown

    The Book of Great Books This was so helpful. There are so many classic books that I have no desire to read, but I am interested in their cultural relevance, now and during the time they were written. This book clearly and objectively summarizes each book alphabetically, goes over the characters and main themes, tells me about the author and how the book was received during the time it was written, as well as other helpful information I appreciate knowing.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Samantha Penrose

    A great reference piece.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay

    I liked the list of books, but the accompanying articles felt too sparknotesy. Where are all the scholarly analyses??? Sheesh.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jesús Valdez godoy

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Oh. This is a good one, I haven't read it, but i'll do it sooner as I can. I know to the author, He is one of the greatest persons I've known. He is great. Oh. This is a good one, I haven't read it, but i'll do it sooner as I can. I know to the author, He is one of the greatest persons I've known. He is great.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

  13. 4 out of 5

    The Eclectic Bookworm

  14. 5 out of 5

    Cara Wright

  15. 5 out of 5

    Swiss Narra

  16. 5 out of 5

    Robert Snyder

  17. 4 out of 5

    Laura

  18. 4 out of 5

    Pearl

  19. 5 out of 5

    F

  20. 4 out of 5

    Dale Lee

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ozgun

  22. 5 out of 5

    Robin Redden

  23. 4 out of 5

    Cleo Chang

  24. 4 out of 5

    Mary Cullen

  25. 4 out of 5

    Thomas Marshall

  26. 5 out of 5

    Robert Smith

  27. 5 out of 5

    Roderick Patterson

  28. 5 out of 5

    Monik

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jmaylone

  30. 4 out of 5

    Tina

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