Geoffrey Strickland's book considers some of the principal Structuralist theories of the sixties and seventies, which derive from the 'semiology' or 'science of signs' postulated by the Swiss linguistician Saussure at the beginning of the twentieth century. The book falls into three parts. In the first, Strickland argues that, in one essential, the structuralist enterprise was misconceived. The second and most substantial part of the book is a defence of certain fundamental presuppositions in the act of reading. There is a discussion of the nature and accessibility of authorial intention, of the necessary fallibility in our understanding of what we read, of the objective aspect of evaluation and of the sense in which the student of literature is also a student of history. In the final section, the author summarises the arguments of the book with a detailed comparison of the writings of Roland Barthes and F. R. Levis. Strickland has produced a lively and provocative contribution to literary debates on structuralism, which ranges widely over both French and English criticism and literary theory.