Helping you find the best books to read


January 11, 2019
bandersnatch book cover
Published: 2015-12
Page Count: 224
C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien and the other members of the Inklings met each week to read and discuss each other's work-in-progress, offering both encouragement and blistering critique. How did these conversations shape the books they were writing? How does creative collaboration enhance individual talent? And what can we learn from their example? Beautifully illustrated by James A. Owen, 'Bandersnatch' offers an inside look at the Inklings of Oxford - and a seat at their table…

Maybe, like I did, you think you know most of what there is worth knowing about the Inklings. After reading this book, however, I have so much better an understanding of them, and learned things that surprised me. Not just about individual members of the group, but the group as a whole. Bandersnatch is something like a biography of the Inklings as a collective, and a study of how their interaction affected their “individual” works. Glyer, who has clearly done an incredible amount of research on this subject, shows that the great books the world has come to love are a direct result of these Oxford scholars’ conversations and sharing of ideas, their pull-no-punches critiques and lavish praise and encouragement of each other.  If these men had not had each other to push them and make them better, our most cherished books would either not exist  or would be much poorer works that what we now enjoy. Glyer also, especially toward the end, gives advice for writers and other creative people for how to best emulate the Inkings, how to form and/or function as a part of a collaborative group to give the best results on each other work.

I would recommend this book to any artist or leader, but for lovers of the Inklings and their writing, it is required reading.

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