Peter Boxall's slim and elegant volume, The Value of the Novel, offers a deft, timely, and persuasive argument for reexamining some of our most intuitive assumptions about the novel, including how it functions, how it has evolved, and what we can expect from it moving forward. Arriving at just over 140 pages of clear and brilliant analysis, the book will no doubt leave many readers wishing Boxall had written even more. For the laconically inclined, however, I offer the following one-word summary of Boxall's argument for the value of the novel: voice. Boxall never bothers to cross out voice typographically like this—the whole sous rature thing being hard to pull off in our ostensibly “post-theory” moment—but it is an apt image, I think, for conveying what Boxall believes is the structural essence of the novel. According to Boxall, the novel...

You do not currently have access to this content.