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Christmas Book Quiz - Win a Copy of How Fiction Works

Sunday, 20 December 2009

It's competition time! Up for grabs over the Christmas period : a copy of James Wood's How Fiction Works, an excellent little book that I read and reviewed a while back. Here's what I thought about it :

I enjoyed How Fiction Works very much. It isn’t actually intended to be a guide for writers at all. It does explore the techniques writers use to conjure up effective fictional worlds but is mainly aimed at readers. Nevertheless, I think writers can take a lot from it ... this is certainly a book to dip into again and again. It is emphatically not a “How to Write” guide; it is more of a “How Others Have Written.” And it’s all the better for it.

To win it, you'll need to email the answers to the following bookish questions to Also, I'm asking that you are signed up as a follower of my blog (by clicking on the Follow button on any of my blog posts). This is a completely free and painless process. I'm not going to send you messages or hassle you in any way. It just makes me feel more loved.

Please include your snail-mail address so I can send you the book if you win. I'll pay the postage but I'm not responsible for any additional taxes or import duties that may be levied once I've sent the book off. I absolutely guarantee not to pass on any of your contact details to another living soul. But if you don't want to send your address and just want to enter for pleasure, that's fine. Entries are to reach me by midday (GMT) on January 1st 2010. If there's a tie, I'll pick a winner at random. Judge's decision is final. If I've got anything wrong then, meh, it's just a bit of fun!

So, onto the questions :

  1. How many ghosts visited Ebenezer Scrooge on Christmas Eve in Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol?
  2. In which poem is there a "rough beast" that "slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?"
  3. A person holds 66 books in their hands. They put one book down. Now they are holding no books at all. What book was it they put down?
  4. Find a verbal connection between Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes,  Pied Beauty by Gerard Manley Hopkins and Ludd-in-the-Mist by Hope Mirrlees.
  5. Which book did the American critic Edmund Wilson famously describe as "long-winded balderdash"?
  6. Which Victorian novel ends with the words "He was withered, wrinkled, and loathsome of visage. It was not till they had examined the rings that they recognized who it was"? 
  7. Which novel contains these lines in a poetic preface : "And, gentle reader, you as well / The fountainhead of all remittance. / Buy me before good sense insists / You'll strain your purse and sprain your wrists."
  8. In which Shakespeare play do Sir Toby Belch and Sir Andrew Aguecheek appear?
  9. Who lived in the house at Pooh Corner in the A. A. Milne story?
  10. What was the sequel to Arthur C. Clarke's 2001 : A Space Odyssey?

Best of luck! And Merry Christmas to one and all.


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