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The Biographer's Tale Book Review Summary

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Biographer's Tale



Knopf, Jan 2001, 24.00, 305 pp.
ISBN: 0375411143

    His postgraduate literary-criticism courses bore student Phineas G. Nanson, who wonders if that is all there is in life. Unable to take anymore, Phineas decides to commit university heresy and devote his time on biography, feeling that will provide a taste of real life. He chooses the obscure works of Destry-Scholes who gave the world the consummate story of Victorian polymath Sir Elmer Bole, a nineteenth century English renaissance man.

    Phineas' research into his hero leads to finding partial manuscripts on Linnaeus, Galton, and Ibsen. However, as the student-scholar digs deeper into his champion's works, he finds that Desrty-Scholes has created facts to spice up the lives of his subjects. Uncovering this information makes a disappointed Phineas realize the world of biography is closer to the literary realm than he realized, but with his stiff upper lip he seem happier for the knowledge.

    THE BIOGRAPHER'S TALE is a series of satires that laughs at much of what modern society, especially the British, reveres from its heritage. The story line slowly evolves setting up the ironic humor. Publishers, authors, and reviewers (I included) can see ourselves alongside insects and vermin in caricatures of fun house mirror images of ourselves.

Harriet Klausner
The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner








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Chapter Analysis of The Biographer's Tale

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Plot & Themes

Time/era of story    -   1980's-1999 Life of a profession:    -   student Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Job/Profession/Status story    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   student Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White (American)

Setting

How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   4 () United States    -   Yes

Writing Style

Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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A.S. Byatt Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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