Unless It Moves the Human Heart: The Craft and Art of Writing

Unless It Moves the Human Heart: The Craft and Art of Writing - Roger Rosenblatt I really needed an "inspiring writing book" over the last few days, and I think this served quite well. So why the middling rating? Well, while the book was an enjoyable read and a lovely memoir, I found the through-line to be a bit wandering. Rosenblatt structures the book as a narrative of some of the conversations that took place during a semester of his "Writing Everything" class. I found this structure a little disorienting, because I felt like I was sitting in the corner at a party where I've been introduced to a dozen people in succession then left to follow the conversation as best I can. Rosenblatt tried to describe and characterize his students at the opening of the book, but I never did get a sense of the personality of most of them. I might have liked this style choice more had the book been longer, allowing for more time to get to know everyone. While the book was very enjoyable as I read it, I'd been hard press to remember much of the contents other than the fact that Rosenblatt likes restrained writing. I do have to thank Rosenblatt for something -- halfway through reading this book, I performed that slash-and-burn of the mermaid novel, which I'm still pleased with, but in finishing the book I do think Rosenblatt's "restrained" comes to close to "stark" for my personal taste. If you'd like the feeling of auditing a writing course, this is a wonderful book to read, but I don't think it'll become one that I'll consistently reread for inspiration.