Lodge is a fan of the classics. This is apparent in his choice to begin each chapter with an excerpt from authors such as Henry James, Charlotte Bronte, Charles Dickens, Ernest Hemingway and James Joyce, though more contemporary authors like Martin Amis and Anthony Burgess are slipped in every so often. And arguably, it was a wise choice of Lodge's to use classics as his examples if the beginning writer is his target audience so as to transmit a sense of what is conventional before launching off into magic realism. But be forewarned-Lodge terms his topics "doses" in the introduction as though implying his discussion will provide some sort of cure to the ailing writer-when, in fact, we all know the writing process does not have solutions or cures that suddenly make it easy to sit down and type away for two hours. Roughly three to four pages are devoted to each topic which give the book, as a whole, the feel of "Learning to Write in Twenty-Four Hours." In Lodge's defense, however, he does provide a quick, concise discussion that will serve as both a quick introduction to the beginner and a quick refresher to the more advanced writer.