Monday, April 30, 2007


This from Jon Mcgregor's If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things:

The boy with the wide trousers is quiet, he's looking at the girl next to him, a beautifully unslim girl with dark curls of hair falling down over a red velvet dress, he's looking at the laces and straps and buckles and zips of her complicated footwear and he looks up at her and says so how long does it take you to get those boots off then? She looks at him, this girl, with lips as red as the fire inside a chilli, she looks at the tight spread of him across the bed and she says

I don't know I've never taken them off myself.

First of note, I believe, is the Hemingway style of rolling on the sentences with the use of and, which keeps the reader going, and despite the length of the sentence as a result, the reader doesn't pause or lose interest. We're caught up completely.

Secondly is the characterisation of the girl, first through her chilli lips, which sets up the notion of who she is, and then the pay off of her words, immediately taking us back to the thought of chilli's and hot. It's like setting up a joke and her words are the punchline - our payoff.

No comments: