A Thousand Acres | Critical Review by Richard Eder

This literature criticism consists of approximately 4 pages of analysis & critique of A Thousand Acres.
This section contains 1,141 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
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SOURCE: “Sharper Than a Serpent's Tooth,” in Los Angeles Times Book Review, November 10, 1991, pp. 3, 13.

In the following review, Eder complains that Smiley's A Thousand Acres, with its reversal of King Lear, does not work.

A problem novel is a problem. If it is a detective story, say, or an exposure of conditions in the Chicago stockyards, we take it on its own single-minded level—solving the mystery or learning about the conditions. It needs to be lucidly and enthrallingly expounded; apart from that, we are simply grateful for whatever adornments of style or character may be thrown in.

When it is a full-fledged work of fiction, though, we feel two currents tug against each other. There is the whirlpool vortex—find the problem, explore it, elucidate it—and the freer, more complex, less foreseen tides that fiction sets...

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This section contains 1,141 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Review by Richard Eder
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Literature Criticism Series
Critical Review by Richard Eder from Literature Criticism Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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