Erpiece of Fiction and Finesse; READERS' LIVESMast Poet, Novelist and Playwright Roger Harvey Was Born in 1953 and Lives in Whickham, Gateshead. He Has Worked as a Radio Scriptwriter, Toured America with a Poetry Show, Led Writing Courses and Seen His Plays Staged and a Screenplay Become a Film. His Latest Book, Room for Love, Is a Family Drama Set in Northumberland in The1960s

The Journal (Newcastle, England), December 1, 2015 | Go to article overview

Erpiece of Fiction and Finesse; READERS' LIVESMast Poet, Novelist and Playwright Roger Harvey Was Born in 1953 and Lives in Whickham, Gateshead. He Has Worked as a Radio Scriptwriter, Toured America with a Poetry Show, Led Writing Courses and Seen His Plays Staged and a Screenplay Become a Film. His Latest Book, Room for Love, Is a Family Drama Set in Northumberland in The1960s


The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald (USA, 1926; Penguin Books, 1950) Arguably the greatest piece of American fiction; a technical masterpiece of such finesse we don't notice the technique. I tell my creative writing students this is the perfect example of a short novel, both romantic and utterly truthful, where tone of voice and style are suited to subject. An accurate picture of 1920s America, it is a gripping story of wealth, crime and social ambition. At its heart is an obsessive, tragic, yet somehow uplifting love story containing one of the most brilliantly conceived and executed scenes in fiction: where Gatsby attempts to recapture his lost love by showing her his opulent house and we see that his gesture won't work. I try to put a scene of similar power in each of my books but, to keep the critics at bay, ensure that nobody in a Roger Harvey story ever throws beautiful shirts around.

The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien (Flamingo, 1991) I hate war and dislike most war stories (despite having had to tell one in my historical novel The Silver Spitfire), but this memoir of Vietnam by a foot soldier who became a novelist and journalist is irresistible in its conviction and honesty. Like most combat soldiers, O'Brien is afraid; unlike most he admits that what he fears more is being a coward, so he just carries on through a strangely empty chaos where men can be simply glad at 'not being dead.' .' He shows us the sometimes fascinating horrors of war to celebrate the greater loveliness of peace. The revelations are truly appalling but the humanity is wonderful. That may sound trite, but O'Brien never does. He inherits Hemingway's determination to write 'the one true sentence' and does so with brilliance in easy, colloquial style in this book about the power of memory and the things we all carry through life: the beautiful things, the strange things and the terrible things.

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame (Methuen, 1908) I read and enjoyed this as a child, then in the 1970s I was given an edition featuring the famous illustrations by EH Shepherd and was duly re-enchanted. If it were possible to inhabit one book, this is the one I would choose; not to be one of the animal characters, but myself, living alongside them to experience the story and its delightful atmosphere.

Actually, simply by reading it, I can inhabit that nostalgic innocence, thanks to Grahame's gleaming prose, as magical as the riverbank world it illuminates. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Erpiece of Fiction and Finesse; READERS' LIVESMast Poet, Novelist and Playwright Roger Harvey Was Born in 1953 and Lives in Whickham, Gateshead. He Has Worked as a Radio Scriptwriter, Toured America with a Poetry Show, Led Writing Courses and Seen His Plays Staged and a Screenplay Become a Film. His Latest Book, Room for Love, Is a Family Drama Set in Northumberland in The1960s
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.