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Well known city

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Well known city

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Book Review: When I read a novel set in a city I know well, I must see that the writer knows the city as well as I do if I am to take that writer seriously. If the writer is faking I know immediately and do not trust the writer. When a novelist demonstrates the required knowledge, I trust the story teller, so I trust the tale. This trust increases my enjoyment of a good novel. Peter Lee's second novel is set in San Francisco, in this novel, as in his first, Lee passes my test with flying colours.
Which one of the following can be properly inferred from the passage?

(A) The book reviewer enjoys virtually any novel written by a novelist whom she trusts

(B) If the book reviewer trusts the novelist as a storyteller, the novel in question must be set in a city the book reviewer knows well

(C) Peter Lee's first novel was set in San Francisco

(D) The book reviewer does not trust any novel set in a city that she does not know well

(E) The book reviewer does not believe that she knows San Francisco better than Peter Lee does

OA after some discussion.

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The answer should be E. The author of this passage will only trust someone when that guy knows the place same as author or better then author. E says that Peter Lee knows San Francisco better than author. So E.

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I agree with E. B and D look like trap answers because they make it seem like the reviewer must have knowledge of the city to be able to prove that the author does, too (and therefore trust the author). But all we really know is that if the reviewer does know the city and feels that the author doesn't, she won't trust the author. We aren't given any information about what would happen if the reader doesn't know the city, so we can't infer B or D.

E we can prove. The novel passes the test, which means that the reviewer believes that Lee truly does know San Francisco at least as well as she does.

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Nicely done, guys! This is a terrific example of an inference question - those on which you are asked to supply the conclusion. On these questions, the conclusion "Must be True" based on the facts - and the GMAT is terrific at twisting the logic in trap answers to make sure that you're paying attention.

Here we know that:

If the reader feels that she knows the city better than the author, she loses trust

and

If she loses trust, she does not enjoy the book

We also know that:

She did enjoy Lee's second novel

based on that, we can conclude that, because she enjoyed the book, she did not lose trust in the author, and therefore she did not feel that the author had lesser knowledge of SF than she does.



Now, there are some definite trap answers here. As Karl mentioned, we don't know what happens if the reader does not know the city well - there's no basis for her to lose any trust. So choice B, although it seems somewhat likely, is not necessarily true. Say that a book takes place in Lisbon, and the reader has never been to Lisbon. How could she lose trust even if the author is taking liberties with the geography? The author may not know the city well, but if the reader doesn't know the city well enough to know, we cannot conclude that she'd lose that trust.


Similarly for D, the reader only has to know that the author's knowledge of a city is at least as good as hers - if a story takes place in Lisbon and the reader doesn't know the city, she won't necessarily lose trust because she has no basis for being able to distrust the author.



This question is a great example of If...Then logic. When we have a cause and effect relationship like:

If it rains, we will cancel the game.

We ONLY know what happens if it rains. We cannot draw any conclusions about what will happen if it does not rain - it's not safe to say that "if it doesn't rain, we will play". Other circumstances could intervene, as well -a volcano, a swarm of locusts... The ONLY two things we know in this case deal with the specific cause we're dealt:

If it rains, we cancel
If we did not cancel, it did not rain

The second is something we can directly infer from the given information. If we know that rain will definitely prompt a cancellation, then the lack of a cancellation violates the "if" term...it must not have rained.

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