This is a book full of passion for art and language. As someone who hasn't formally studied literature, The Art of Subtext gave me a wonderful new way to think about my reading and writing.While as far from a how-to guide or writing manual as possible and still be a book on writing, I suspect that this book will impact my writing more than most of the writing manuals I've read. Baxter's prose is engaging and his opinions are unflinching (if occasionally stodgy or nostalgic). I find it difficult that many readers will agree with him completely, but it's equally incredulous that readers will find him unengaging or lacking insight. His critique on the disembodied and disconnected nature of modern relationships, where we talk at each other instead of with somebody is contradicted by his examples from 19th century literature, but remains intriguing and worth thinking about.English majors may find this ground they've covered, but for those who haven't studied literature on a collegiate level and want to get more out of their reading (or film/tv viewing), I'm tempted to call this a must-read. Even for those who have covered this ground before, Baxter's style and willingness to speak his mind give the reader much to deliciate over.This is the first book in a series on The Art of…, all edited by Baxter. I'm excited read the rest of them.On a design note, the entire The Art of… series are all unusually sized books. They're about as wide as an iPhone is tall, and around 50% taller than wide. Combined with the slender page counts, these are fantastic books to slip into a coat pocket or small bag.