Forty years after publishing Reading for the Plot, his important contribution to what came to be known as the "narrative turn" in contemporary criticism and philosophy, Brooks returns to question the unquestioning fashion in which story is now embraced as an excuse or explanation and the fact that every brand or politician comes equipped with one.
Intriguing ... Brooks doesn’t quite attack...knotty questions head on, but Seduced by Story sidles close to them, suggesting that we can resist bad narratives propagated by bad actors only if we train our 'critical and analytical intelligence' to distinguish between a truly good story and a damaging one ... Brooks is a nimble and elegant writer, letting his argument unfold, showing us how fiction can do two seemingly incommensurate things at once ... Seduced by Story turns out not to be the condemnation of narrative that I thought would follow from Brooks’s complaints in its early pages, but rather a potent defense of attentive reading and its real-world applications.
Bracing and insightful ... Not all sections are lay-reader friendly, as Brooks lapses into the academic ... However, readers who stay the course will find this is a thoughtful and revelatory analysis of what’s lost when story trumps all.
Rigorous ... Brooks extrapolates ideas of narrative veracity, character, speaker, and audience, all while conscientiously maintaining his collection’s accessibility. Even readers who are not yet familiar with Proust or Faulkner will find stable footing in these essays despite their many erudite digressions throughout the canon ... An enlightening challenge to readers curious about literary theory and its real-world applications.