Monday, February 14, 2011

Reading Notes: The Passage

200 pages in and, wow, it's exciting and unputdownable, a really good read in fact, but the author's prodigious use of similes and metaphors is giving me a rash. Why-oh-why do authors think these are so clever and helpful for their readers? Fancy comparisons just sound silly and end up deflating the tension of an otherwise cool story.


If I may . . .

"By nightfall they were fifty miles past Oklahoma City, hurtling west across the open prairie toward a wall of spring thunderheads ascending from the horizon like a bank of blooming flowers in a time-lapse video." pg117. Wait. Flowers? Just end the sentence at 'horizon' and I'm good. The description works as it is; it doesn't need any more explaining.

"Or perhaps it wasn't fear they were feeling, but mute incomprehension. As if they'd stepped into a movie, a movie that made so sense. pg 171. Okay, I *get* what 'mute incomprehension' means. The bit about 'a movie' is what makes no sense.

"Before Wolgast could answer there was a blinding flash of light, like a gigantic camera going off." pg 172. Gigantic camera?

Ehn, lame. I wouldn't say he overuses these comparisons -not like some other books I know- but they're frequent enough to make me cringe, which probably isn't the reaction he was aiming for. Other than that it's a fun read and I'm eager to keep going.

8 comments:

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

I wanted to like his book, but I it just was not for me. I hope you end up enjoying it.

Trish said...

Yeah, me too.

We'll see . . .

Sam said...

That definitely sounds cringe-worthy. I'm looking forward to reading this one, so I'm glad you are enjoying it so far.

And I love your reading philosophy of 'anything goes'. I need to remember it a bit more myself.

Cat said...

Explains why it's so long. ;-)

I've been holding off reading this until the winter but I'm not sure whether I'm going to like it.

mindy said...

Funny, I didn't notice that when I read the book-- or maybe I've just blocked it out since. Glad you're enjoying it so far. I felt like it kept getting better the more I read.

Kerry said...

I read this last summer and don't remember this at all! I think I got too wrapped up in the plot to catch it. Good call, though. Hope you enjoy the book anyway!

jackieisreading said...

Yes--I had this problem with "The Road," when McCarthy had some character "step into the autistic night." No. Indeed not. DNF.

Trish said...

sam - it's too bad about the cringing, because otherwise it's a really exciting book.

And as for reading, I'm a little undisciplined. I like to read with abandon! No guilt. No rules. Just unabashed escapist pleasure. Of course I still reserve the right to be critical of whatever I happen to be reading ;)

cat - I have no idea why it has to be so long. It would be just as good at half the length. I'll be curious to see how you and sam like it when you're done.

mindy - oh good well I'm looking forward to it getting better. I've heard mixed reviews.

kerry - yes, well, it could just be me. I do tend to fixate . . .

jackie - I noticed some of those weird comparisons in 'The Road' too - 'autistic night'? what is that anyway?