Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Mortifying Metaphors.


I finished this book. Yeah, I had quoted it in a blog post. But it was not in the way of a recommendation for any of you readers out there.

For the book was a slog. Normally, I shove such books aside. Donate them half-read to the thrift shop. I don't know why I kept going. It was 562 pages of my life I'll never get back.

One of the reasons was to see how many appalling metaphors the author could cram into those 562 pages. Did I mention there were 562 pages? Oh yeah, sorry, three times now.

Samples, just a few out of hundreds ~

When a fellow's hair lifts off his forehead:

"It settled back to his temples like roosting doves."

On a small sound from someone:

"Like the wheeze in the chest of an asthmatic, or the faint whimper of a small creature dying at the side of the road."

"The inquiry team were starting to dissipate their energies fruitlessly, like men urinating into a strong wind."

Reflecting on a picture of a six year old girl:

"Fair hair cut raggedly across her forehead and a selection of teeth and gaps like a half-demolished wall."

"Tears crawled over his skin, like tiny slugs, slow and painful."

Apart from these, there were also times when metaphors were needed as in two sets of parents with murdered daughters not reacting to the loss and horror. At all. In fact, one couple doesn't bother to come back from their vacation. A face etched in grief at the death, a small sob over the casket? Not at all. No funerals even mentioned.

And the resolution at the end was so forced along with the perpetrator being signalled from Page 1 or 2.

Oh, boy. Someone should have told Mr. Booth that appalling metaphors takes a reader right out of the story as she contemplates those slug-like tears and teeth like a wall or a pile of men urinating into the wind, while her mind frets over the conundrum of that chilly pair of non-grieving parents.




22 comments:

  1. Well, hey, you had at least five good giggles!

    ReplyDelete
  2. However, reading those quotes rendered the beginning of my day surprisingly entertaining, like a nonagenarian who ditches his cane and dances the samba, rose gripped between his teeth.

    Those roosting doves, urinating men, and crawling slugs are going to stay with me a while!

    ReplyDelete
  3. One of my favorites, from a lady, now deceased, who in spite of her fecklessness, went on to fame and fortune in the newspaper business:

    (Describing a man eating at a lunch counter) His big body, devouring a hamburger..."

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yes, pissing in the wind.

    Even before you are old enough to take up sailing you should be taught that it's the road to getting wet.

    U

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anon:

    Yes, I did, many many giggles. And it taught me a huge amount about bad writing.

    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  6. Marc:

    Now I really like that one. I shouldn't I'm sure but I do.

    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  7. SAW:

    There were many, many times, but each appalling metaphor kept me hungering for more :)

    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  8. Ursula:

    Not to mention hanging around a police station.

    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  9. Laura:

    Mr. Booth gets an average of 4**** on Good Reads.

    There are many, many sequels.

    Taste. No accounting.

    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks for visiting my blog (A Bench with a View) and your kind. I'm going to remember the name of this blog so I don't get caught reading it! You were diligent to finish all the pages of it! I would have given up probably within the first 50 pages!

    betty

    ReplyDelete
  11. Those excruciating metaphors and similes tell me all I need to know. Anyone who produces lines like that is no writer. I'm amazed you actually slogged through all 562 pages.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Bad metaphors can have amusement value; meant sincerely, they can induce wincing. I'm amazed you made it through 562 pages.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Betty:
    I was hooked on the downright awfulness of it and really had hoped there would be a twist. No, not so lucky :)
    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  14. Betty:
    I was hooked on the downright awfulness of it and really had hoped there would be a twist. No, not so lucky :)
    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  15. Betty:
    I was hooked on the downright awfulness of it and really had hoped there would be a twist. No, not so lucky :)
    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  16. Nick:

    He is a best selling author!! Seriously. Maybe we all should be so awful, yeah?

    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  17. Stan, like I said to Betty, the ugliness of it all hooked me and he is a best selling author too, go figure :)

    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  18. So, it’s not a book you’d recommend then? A bit long, is it?

    Oh www, congratulations on your wonderful girl. I am insanely envious, so envious that it breaks my heart, but congratulations all the same.

    50 km sounds just about the right distance. Doable, without being n the doorstep. Easier in summer than winter, though.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Some lauded writers are as bad as that but they don't get called out.

    ReplyDelete

Some of you are having trouble, I've removed captcha and verification so we'll see how that goes. My apologies. Blogger is putting up far too many roadblocks. Thanks for the emails alerting me.
wisewebwomanatgmail.com