The Elements of Eloquence

  • by Mark Forsyth
  • Narrated by Simon Shepherd
  • 5 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In an age unhealthily obsessed with substance, this is a book on the importance of pure style, from the best-selling author of The Etymologicon and The Horologicon. From classic poetry to pop lyrics and from the King James Bible to advertising slogans, Mark Forsyth explains the secrets that make a phrase - such as 'Tiger, Tiger, burning bright', or 'To be or not to be' - memorable.
In his inimitably entertaining and witty style he takes apart famous lines and shows how you, too, can write like Shakespeare or Oscar Wilde. Whether you're aiming for literary immortality or just an unforgettable one-liner, The Elements of Eloquence proves that you don't need to have anything to say - you simply need to say it well.


What the Critics Say

“Sparkling ... the book offers many pleasures ... I laughed out loud at the examples chosen” (Charles Moore, Daily Telegraph)
“An informative but highly entertaining journey through the figures of rhetoric ... Mark Forsyth wears his considerable knowledge lightly. He also writes beautifully.” (David Marsh, Guardian)
“It is good news that the popular author of The Etymologicon should now potter round the rhetorical warehouse at our elbow, commenting on the choicer goods on view, for he is well-informed and amusing.” (Christopher Howse, The Spectator)
“The Elements of Eloquence makes a daunting, potentially boring subject exciting ... Forsyth's wickedly clever, irreverent take on rhetoric should cement his reputation as a virtuoso: it is hard to think of any other book that tackles the topic with such style.” (South China Morning Post)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Perfection in every part.

For some reason, my wife and I see two different versions of this book on each of our accounts -- on my account the narrator is American, on hers it's Simon Vance, whose gloriously crisp British carefully caresses every word with clear reverence for their meaning.

Guess which I prefer?

The book itself is the first I've ever read on the topic, and is beyond words. As he describes each form, I got great delight out of discovering examples of prior terms in the following chapters. I am going to be listening to this again and again and again, for the beauty of how he phrased each example and the dry British humor laced through it all.
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- Stacy Jean

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-28-2014
  • Publisher: Audible Studios