Book Review: The Elements of Style

Amazon Cover


You know the authors’ names. You recognize the title. You’ve probably used this book yourself. This is The Elements of Style, the classic style manual, now in a fourth edition. A new Foreword by Roger Angell reminds readers that the advice of Strunk & White is as valuable today as when it was first offered. This book’s unique tone, wit and charm have conveyed the principles of English style to millions of readers. Use the fourth edition of “the little book” to make a big impact with writing.


(Review of Second Edition from 1972 – review done January 2020)
I recently ran across a recommendation to read “The Elements of Style” and discovered the book on my shelf; I must have inherited it from my parents.

This classic book, though the initial material is over 100 years old at this point, is still relevant today (with a bit of care as the language continues to evolve). The central point of The Elements of Style, writing brief, specific, powerful, and active, is as relevant today in genre fiction as when this short book was a self-published pamphlet Professor Strunk shared with his classes.

If you don’t want to slog through the Chicago Manual of Style, pick up this short book (74-pages in the version I got). It’s still a gold standard.