Sarah Vine in The Times (of London):
Well, zut alors! A distinguished French literary professor has become a surprise bestselling author by writing a book explaining how to wax intellectual about tomes that you have never actually read.
Pierre Baynard, 52, specialises in the link between literature and psychoanalysis, and says it is perfectly possible to bluff your way through a book that you have never read — especially if that conversation happens to be taking place with someone else who also hasn’t read it. All of which just goes to confirm what I’ve always thought about French academics, which is that mostly they are oversubsidised frauds.
Obviously I haven’t read Mr Baynard’s book; but it is in the spirit of his oeuvre that I shall proceed to write about it anyway.