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Publisher's Summary

Why do some lengthy sentences flow effortlessly while others stumble along? Why are you captivated by the writing of particular authors? How can you craft sentences that reflect your unique outlook on the world?
This lively, 24-lecture course introduces you to the myriad ways in which we think about, talk about, and write sentences. Reviving the sentence-oriented approach to studying writing, Professor Landon provides a greater context for what makes sentences great - and how you can apply these methods to your own writing.
You'll look at the kernels from which sentences grow - minimal base clauses - and how adding words or phrases creates larger, cumulative sentences that lead toward great writing. You'll explore sentence constructions that make writing more complex and add exciting levels of suspense, and see tactics that create balance and rhythm.Recognizing and appreciating these and other eye-opening aspects of sentences helps you understand the work that goes into creating an effective, pleasurable sentence, which can make you more aware of why particular lines, passages, or phrases in the poems, novels, or articles you read so enchant you.
Professor Landon draws abundantly on examples from the work of brilliant writers, including Don DeLillo, Virginia Woolf, Samuel Johnson, and more. With its passionate approach to writing and reading and its indulgence in the sheer joy of language, this journey gives you unique insights into the nature of great writing-and also teaches you how you can achieve some of this greatness yourself.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.

©2008 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2008 The Great Courses
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Darryl on 08-28-13

good writers course

I've listened to many Great Courses before and now that they are on Audible it can only be good. this one was interesting for me as I like to study writing techniques and style etc as well and you gain insight not only into methods to try, but into what makes some of the great writers great. there are many excellent quotations from famous writers that make me want to read them more if i haven't already.

one good thing about these courses is that you can do the lessons/lectures one at a time and come back after something else and continue, or do them several together.

the only thing i would change is the little intro/exit announcement and applause needs to go. and i would like to see at least a pdf of materials referred to if not the actual sentences quoted.

will listen again to this and plan to get others.

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27 of 29 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Kazuhiko on 09-22-13

I appreciate long sentences more now

I am not a writer, but I bought this book because I am curious about how writers craft sentences. As the author clarifies early in the first chapter, this book is actually about building good LONG sentences. He explains how good, long, sustaining sentences are built. He cites many good examples from current and past writers. Some of the analytical observations and technical terms used to describe certain approaches in building sentences are bit too much for me, and I somehow doubt that Hemingway and other great writers studied these technical aspects of writing, but the materials covered in this book are still fascinating to me, and I now appreciate long sentences more. One small issue for me was that it took me some time to get used to this professor's tone of voice and his accents. You might want to check out the sample to hear his voice first to see if you are comfortable listening to the sound for 12 hours.

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17 of 18 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Dottie on 04-09-16

How to write a sennanse!

I have arrived at chapter 8; I feel this is an achievement. A pretty hefty achievement because the narrator is punching my brain with side swipes in his pronunciation.

The word is sentence so why does he insist on pronouncing it as SENNANSE?

My head hurts!

Otherwise, pretty good.

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8 of 11 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Kitty cat 17 on 08-24-17

Couldn't listen to this

Would you try another book written by The Great Courses or narrated by Professor Brooks Landon?

Not by this narrator. I had to stop after ten minutes due to the mid-pronunciation. For an audio book all about sentences you could at least pronounce the word correctly! There is a 't' in it so why say 'sen-ance-ees'. It was so irritating I switched off.

Has Building Great Sentences: Exploring the Writer's Craft put you off other books in this genre?

Not really. I still enjoy books about language and writing. Just not this one!

Would you be willing to try another one of Professor Brooks Landon’s performances?

No! See my statement above re the pronunciation of sentences. It was infuriating!

Do you think Building Great Sentences: Exploring the Writer's Craft needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

Yes by someone who knows how to say sentences.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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