This book contains some useful advice for aspiring writers, but the pompous self assurance of Ayn Rand and her self-invented "objectivism" philosophy made me sick, more than once.
She considers herself a romanticist and goes out of her way to prove that her "romanticism" is endlessly better and deeper than "naturalism" of such second rate and shallow (in her opinion) writers as Lev Tolstoy and Sinclair Lewis. Her hatred of "Anna Karenina" is on the verge of obsession. She also uses Victor Hugo a lot -- he is honored to be in the same boat with Ayn Rand and labeled romanticist, but still he is not as deep and perfect as she is.
The introduction says that the part on literary style "is tour de force of this book" -- in my opinion it is tour de weakness.All the examples she provided of how her own style is better and even more realistic than the style of naturalists convinced me on the contrary.
Oh, and I forgot: according to Ayn Rand, Gertrude Stein has no right to exist and James Joyce is a despicable phenomena, a complete waste of time and paper.
My personal conclusions from this book are:
1.Read/reread Lev Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Victor Hugo, James Joyce, Gertrude Stein.
2.Never again read anything by Ayn Rand.