I’m currently reading “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay” by Michael Chabon. As well as being a real page-turner, he has a knack for imagery and similes. For example:

“He walked along Eighth Street, over to Christopher, then to the river, threading his way like a pickpocket through the crowds just off the ferryboats from New Jersey: taut-jawed men in stiff hats and suits and obsidian shoes, newspapers pinned under their arms; brusque, brick-lipped, hard-heeled women in floral dresses. They stampeded down the ramps and onto Christopher and then scattered like raindrops blown across a window.”

On the next page an ocean liner “loomed like a mountain in a dinner jacket.”


5 thoughts on “Imagery

    • simonlitton August 26, 2009 / 1:24 pm

      Mountain in a dinner jacket doesn’t mean anything. It’s not a metaphor. It doesn’t express some essential truth about ocean liners. It simply describes what it looks like.


  1. CuriosityKiller September 3, 2009 / 5:26 am

    I want one.

    I really really want one of those helmet cameras, and I’ll never take them off. They can kick me out of malls if they have to…


  2. CuriosityKiller September 3, 2009 / 5:44 am

    Oops – the last comment was meant for your Radiohead video.

    But I like your excerpt from that book. Very clear imageries without needing 3 pages to describe it. =)


  3. Inland Empirical September 25, 2009 / 5:51 am

    I enjoyed Kavalier & Clay too. It was a terrific read. Haven’t been able to get through much of The Yiddish Policemen’s Union as I was constantly bugging my Jewish friends on the phone for translations of Yiddish words.


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