Book Reviews by Today, I Read…

A Continuous Book Review and Vocabulary Assignment

March 18

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BTT: Shakespeare or Hemingway?

by Ann-Katrina

TIR Books

booking through thursday It’s Thursday and you know what that means…another edition of Booking Through Thursday is here.

This week’s question is: Which do you prefer? Lurid, fruity prose, awash in imagery and sensuous textures and colors? Or straight-forward, clean, simple prose?

Florid or unadorned prose? It’s a difficult decision to make if you enjoy both. But, my preference often depends upon mood and whether said florid prose shifts into the realm of purple and whether the unadorned prose is so sparse as to remove all color.

Two good examples to illustrate my point are The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle (review) and I heart you, You haunt me by Lisa Schroeder (review). (Bet you thought I was going to say Shakespeare and Hemmingway, didn’t you?) I enjoyed both of these books although the former was especially florid:

The unicorn lived in a lilac wood, and she lived all alone. She was very old, though she did not know it, and she was no longer the careless color of sea foam, but rather the color of snow falling on a moonlit night. But her eyes were still clear and unwearied, and she still moved like a shadow on the sea.

While the latter was spare in its language:

I pull out the bikini.
The one Jackson bought me.
The one I wore that day.

I can’t wear it.
I won’t wear it.

I should throw it away.
But Jackson gave it to me.
It’s the last thing he gave me.
So I’ll keep it.
But I won’t wear it.

To me, it all boils down to deftness of the writer and whether I’m in the mood to savor a book or devour it.

Comments on BTT: Shakespeare or Hemingway?

  1. # beastmomma wrote on March 18, 2010 at 2:03 pm:

    I love the idea of being in a mood to savor or devour a book. I am often in the mood to do both. Here is my response:

  2. # Marie wrote on March 18, 2010 at 5:24 pm:

    The Last Unicorn, I believe, was one of the first books to make me cry…the language is so beautiful, the world so rich! Nice juxtaposition of styles, though. :)
    .-= Marie´s last blog ..Blog blog blog: In which I blog (How meta!) =-.

  3. # Jamye wrote on March 18, 2010 at 6:17 pm:

    Very true! And sometimes I want to savor a book but I can’t help devouring it, lol.
    .-= Jamye´s last blog ..BTT: Sensual =-.

  4. # Ann-Kat wrote on March 18, 2010 at 9:32 pm:

    While I didn’t cry while reading The Last Unicorn, I did feel sad when it ended, so I know what you mean, Marie. The world imagined was lush and beautiful and rich and talking about it just makes me want to go back there. :D

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