This is the best non-fiction book I’ve read this year yet. The writer, Vera Tobin, teaches at Case Western University (Cleveland, Ohio) about the connections between cognition, language, and narrative. Here, she explores how the “well-made surprise” is created by writers and appreciated by readers in books and movies. Fascinating stuff.

If you’re a writer (of any genre), you should read this. If you’re a reader who likes to get under the hood (believe me, it’s more fun) with how writers do what they do, you should read this. Beyond fiction, these cognitive and linguistic techniques are also relevant in fields where rhetoric and narrative are critical — e.g. law, academia, etc.

I have an interview coming up with her next week too.

Read the entire review at PopMatters.

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