This book is not geared toward the academic, rather it is a popular book on reading quality literature. What this means is that Bloom does not spend time discussing the theory and techniques of literary scholarship and criticism, but instead models a very personal, pleasurable style of attentive reading. The length of the book precludes a thorough examination of any specific work. Instead it is a survey to whet the appetite, an aperitif. It is quite like an interesting few days spent with a lively and passionate professor who is able to draw out just enough of the subtleties of the works discussed to be an inspiration to the student. On this level, the book succeeds wonderfully, and will no doubt lead to more thorough works, such as Bloom's Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human.