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luigirovatti's avatar

What material on YouTube can help me easily in analyzing fiction books?

Asked by luigirovatti (2836points) November 28th, 2023

For example, Stephen King, or Agatha Christie. I need to find educational material that focuses on how to judge the quality of a fiction book. The style, mood, tone, the setting, the characters, how to do it without relying on experts.

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9 Answers

elbanditoroso's avatar

Nothing. Analysis means thought, combined with having read the book(s).

Thought comes from within, based on knowledge and experience. No youtube video can teach you to think.

Jeruba's avatar

You could take a series of courses in literature, maybe get a degree in English lit. I learned to perform critical analyses of works of literature and write about them in the course of earning my degree. Your idea of getting a quick and easy analysis kit from YouTube is rather insulting to those who have actually done the work.

luigirovatti's avatar

@Jeruba: It’s also insulting for readers to read a badly written book because they don’t have critical thought to exploit. I mean, you do realize there’re authors who sell well, top the charts, have thousands of fake 5-star reviews, but which books are garbage, do you?

Mimishu1995's avatar

If you want to avoid bad books, then search for their reviews. No one can teach you how to decide something is good or bad without even reading it. It’s like trying to teach you how to decide good food/bad food. No one knows your taste enough to teach you that.

luigirovatti's avatar

@Mimishu1995: I’m talking about their quality, not my subjective tastes. Ideally, readers will like more books with good quality. Especially if they’re analyzed.

flutherother's avatar

You’ll be lucky to find anything very helpful on YouTube. Check out reviews online, visit your local library even check Amazon where you can often read the first few pages of a book which will give you a good idea whether it is for you or not.

Ultimately, there is only the author and the reader. The experts are only bystanders. It’s like a girl you fall in love with, others can praise her charm, her beauty and her good nature but only you can describe why you love her.

Mimishu1995's avatar

@luigirovatti you are confusing reviews with analysis. Analysis is breaking down books into themes, characters, historical contexts… and do research on them. Knowing those things don’t necessarily make me like a book. An example for this is Vanity Fair. I learned about it at school. I know about the historical context to know why Becky was considered a rebel character. I know her motives and the message the author was trying to push. So by your logic Vanity Fair should be my absolute favorite book. But no, I don’t like it. I just could care less for it.

Although judging by your history you tend to either move away or double down on your opinion when opposed, I am writing this less for you but for other people who are reading this thread. I don’t really care what you think at this point.

Zaku's avatar

King and Christie are both very good writers of popular fiction, but I expect that neither are typically considered by most professors of English Literature, to have written much that is particularly worthy of much literary analysis.

Assessment of the quality of “pop” fiction, is not only more subjective than literary analysis, but it has other criteria. It’s generally just not considered notably great literature at all, but can be judged within its genre as an entertainment product.

Some of the ideas from literary analysis can be applied to pop fiction, as a matter of interest and of assessing which such books might be a bit more interesting than others, but really one has to know one’s own tastes in pop fiction to know what one might want.

There is at least one pop Youtube dude who tries to bring some literary analysis to online discussions of pop fiction. And there are various others on the bandwagon, that talk about pop fiction in terms used with literature. But the bandwagon in particular often take ideas and over-apply them in weird ways. For example, the trend over the last several years for online discussions to talk about “arcs” as if plots and characters “having arcs” makes them great or not. Kind of like how in decades past, online discussions would argue about whether characters were 1D, 2D, or 3D.

So I’d just advise caution and moderation.

The best literature is great because it is so interesting that professors of literature (as opposed to casual online commenters) read it multiple times and write interesting things about it, for decades and decades.

There are also actual university lectures on literature posted on YouTube. Try searches such as “english literature lecture”.

luigirovatti's avatar

@Mimishu1995: I agree that I don’t have a specific opinion about nothing, but it’s simply because I don’t experience firsthand the consequences of such opinions, and I agree also that many people are not like me, they can say whatever they want but they stick to them ‘til the end, even if it’s against common sense. Opposition only gives me common ground to cover all bases, but only the bases I consider coming from those more experienced than me. And, I might add, even if I agree with them right then, maybe I cannot go against my own conscience, or maybe it’s the opposite, they speak from the heart and I don’t. In any case, if you think I’m a coherent person who doesn’t go with the flow even in what are my beliefs, you are very much mistaken. I simply say whatever I know and look if it sticks, but I don’t agree that people are necessarily satisfied to talk only about the things they have experience firsthand. Curiosity will drive most casual interactions between people. Even virtual ones.

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