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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.
©2013 Mark Forsyth (P)2014 Audible Studios
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Critic Reviews

“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

By Stacy Jean on 09-02-16

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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Customer Reviews

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By Swing Swang on 08-28-14

Listen to to be a better listener.

Listen to this to be a better listener, listen to this to be a better writer, and listen to this to be a better critic.

Mark clearly defines some of the 'flowers of rhetoric', then illustrates them with well-known examples from literature.

Brilliantly narrated. The content is so good, and so very accessible, that you'll also want to buy the printed copy for reference.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful


By Allard on 08-14-15

Outstanding insight into English language

What did you like most about The Elements of Eloquence?

It opened my eyes to the linguistic foundations that make or break language. I thoroughly enjoyed it and book provided me with a new understanding of language and what the difference is between various way of expression.

Any additional comments?

Great educational story and excellent narration by Simon Shepherd who made a topic that could easily become boring very interesting until the end.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Amazon Customer on 04-15-17

Perfect for word Geeks

This is a very practical text on how to write more compellingly, using engaging stories and amusing delivery to highlight what are actually very classical techniques ... All in bite-sized chunks of information

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By Emjay on 12-15-16

Really enjoyed this Audiobook.

I enjoyed this book. I found it fascinating and funny. I will listen to this again, evidence that I have no life if my husband is to be believed. However everyone knows husband's are usually wrong. Don't they!

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