Today’s Booking Through Thursday question is, “Which do you prefer? Lurid, fruity prose, awash in imagery and sensuous textures and colors? Or straight-forward, clean, simple prose?”
I can be a fan of both. I think I tend to prefer clean and simple prose, though — not overly clean and simple, like Hemingway, but just straightforward writing. Too often an author can get carried away trying to write “fruity” prose, like in Life of Pi, which I’m re-reading right now. The story is interesting, but every so often I find myself staring at the page and wondering what Martel was smoking when he wrote, “Tell me I’m still happy. Mother, my tender guardian angel of wisdom, where are you? And you, Father, my loving worrywart? And you, Ravi, dazzling hero of my childhood? Vishnu preserve me, Allah protect me, Christ save me, I can’t bear it!” Yeah. It’s a little much.
But sometimes a little flower in the prose is a good thing, like in my dear The Manual of Detection. I’m still in love with Berry’s writing a year later. Check out that link for a delightful passage from the novel.