On Writing Well Audio Collection

  • by William Zinsser
  • Narrated by William Zinsser
  • 2 hrs and 19 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

This expanded audio collection presents William Zinsser's On Writing Well, the classic teaching book that has sold more than 1 million copies, together with a new 90-minute section that tells you how to write a memoir. Based on a course that Zinsser taught at Yale, On Writing Well has long been praised by writers, teachers, and students for its sound advice, its clarity, and the warmth of its style. It's for everybody who wants to learn how to write or who needs to do some writing to get through the day. Whether you want to write about people and places, science and technology, business, sports, or the arts, this is the definitive guide to the craft of nonfiction.
Part II of this collection, on memoir, personal history, and family history, tells you in helpful detail how to write the story of your life: who you are, who you once were, and what heritage you come from. Throughout, Zinsser refers to the work of many successful memoir writers, including Frank McCourt, Annie Dillard, Russell Baker, and Eudora Welty, to demonstrate how they solved the problems of selection, compression, focus, and tone that every memoir writer struggles with.

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What the Critics Say

"Zinsser's classic belongs on every writer's shelf. It's full of practical, no-frills advice on the basics of writing nonfiction: clarity, simplicity, brevity and humanity....The author's easy-going delivery and warm voice are confidence-building, as well. The discussion is crystal clear and easy to follow as transitional statements carefully lead the listener from one section to the next. Most of all, the audio exudes Zinsser's generosity of spirit, which is sure to inspire any would-be writer." (AudioFile)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Not bad.

Worth listening to. I'm a television writer. I found it mildly interesting. I thought Sol Stein's "Stein on Writing" was more worthwhile, giving more pratical suggestions. Still, it was okay.
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- Ronald

Zinsser lays out

What did you love best about On Writing Well Audio Collection?

Zinsser lays out focal points of good writing in a way that makes sense and is easily applied to writing. I have listened to and read many helpful books on the elements of writing, but this is a good place to start no matter what skill level you are at. Zinsser not only tells you what to do, he shows you. Here are a few other books I have found helpful.

Stein On Writing, by Sol Stein (if you are serious about writing, get this book, in audio or print).

The Writing Life, by Annie Dillard.

Three books by Roy Peter Clark:
Help! For Writers
Writing Tools
The Glamour of Grammar

The Elements of Style (the original, unedited version by William Strunk).


Have you listened to any of William Zinsser’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have not, but he did well.


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I could have, yes.


Any additional comments?

I think it was helpful.

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- Kindle Customer

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-24-2004
  • Publisher: HarperAudio