Uninformed Comment

Boydisms

Posted in Grammar & usage, Literature by uninformedcomment on June 12, 2012

I’ve read three books by the British author William Boyd and thoroughly enjoyed them all. He’s a damned fine writer.

What’s more, my enjoyment has been enhanced rather than diminished by the occasional appearances of certain ambiguities. Here is a selection:

Stars and Bars (1984)

  • [In a lift (elevator)] “He smoothed his eyebrows. They ascended.”

Blue Afternoon (1993)

  • “Eventually, Carriscant moved on and turned into an all-night lunch room …”

Restless (2006)

  • “The rain was growing heavier and the flower sellers were packing up their stalls when they caught a taxi to the station …”
  • “… a tall young man with receding hair in a tightly waisted dark suit …”
  • “At Baltimore Station she told Romer pointedly that she felt like a coffee and a sandwich …”
  • “She was in the Transoceanic offices one morning […] when Romer telephoned himself and suggested meeting on the steps of the Metropolitan Museum.”

I highly recommend all three novels, especially the latter, which is one of my favourite of all novels and has haunted me since I read it nine months ago.

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