20 February 2012

Turn of a phrase

I like a good turn of phrase; a sentence so well crafted that you can actually see, smell or taste the thing being described. Not many writers can do such a thing.  
Steve Toltz does so often in A Fraction of the Whole. Toltz is a newish writer on the scene, an Australian with an interesting perspective. An old timer who paints pictures with words too is Graham Greene. My book club is reading A Burnt Out Case right now.

"The pouches under his eyes were like purses that contained the smuggled memories of a disappointing life."

"There is a time in life when a man with a little acting ability is able to deceive even himself."
from  A Burnt Out Case, by Graham Greene 
The book is not a comedy, more a commentary on a disillusioned life, with some fascinating descriptive phrases I admire.


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