Now, I have grown to adore reading Nesbit's books both by myself and with my kids. She was a fairly prolific writer which is an exciting fact if you love her books. I repeat: most of her books (if not all?) are available for free download on the Kindle which is a double treat and one that I highly recommend you take advantage of. I'd not heard of The Literary Sense before but I don't feel very badly about that seeing as how hardly anyone else has either. (Not even one Goodreads review?! And nothing on Amazon. Tsk, tsk!) I launched into the story, oblivious to what I mind find, and found myself delightfully surprised.
The Literary Sense is a collection of short stories definitely not intended for children. There are adult themes running throughout this book and its clear from things that Nesbit found a great deal of merriment in poking fun at her fellow human being. In these stories, which function more as character sketches, Nesbit tickles her own funny bone by pointing out the irrational behaviors of others who suffer from a case of having a "literary sense" (aka a sense for the dramatic). The people she wrote of are always just a little bit over the top in their beliefs and actions towards the realities of life. With Nesbit's typical wit the reader can easily see how silly some folks can be when desperately in love. There is a certain degree of the preposterous running throughout which makes for entertaining reading. Nesbit most certainly had to have chuckled her way through the creation of this book and there seems nothing better to do than to laugh right along with her. If you don't, you'll miss out!
If you like Nesbit in general, you'll want to check out this title because it offers another side to her as a writer. Whether the characters are likable or not is a matter of debate. They aren't really meant to be liked so much as humored. The romances of the foolish generally produce wry smiles so its fair to suggest that you expect to have a wry smile on your face as you read along.
I loved this title because it was unique and somewhat unexpected. Nesbit pokes fun at human nature in a way that hits the nail right on the head without being the least bit offensive. From this title I would deduce that Nesbit was a careful study of human behavior and loved a good laugh. If we are to write books which we ourselves would enjoy, I think she did that for herself with this one. I felt more as if I was reading something she took delight in and caught wind of an inside joke somehow. The joke was so funny its worth passing along and so, with that, I'd recommend The Literary Sense to you. (Remember, it's free! What's to lose?)
"All the same, he was nice, which is something: and she loved him, which is everything." (The Force of Habit)
Other books by Nesbit which we have devoured: