Muddle-headed Kay (mhw) wrote,
Muddle-headed Kay
mhw

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Something whiffy this way comes

I've recently borrowed a few of G P Taylor's novels, since a few people had mentioned them. I suspected I'd loathe them, because one or two people had described him as "the next C S Lewis" (he most definitely isn't), but they actually aren't too bad.

Except for one thing. One sentence. One simile. Actually, two similes, because I got rather weary of him comparing every high-ceilinged room or forest to the interior of a cathedral, but since he's a priest I can let that slide. Perhaps it's just my taste, but I honestly can't take someone who can commit a simile like the one I'm about to reveal as a decent writer ever again.

It's from his latest, The Curse of Salamander Street. Page 208, if you have the book. The characters are creeping through an underground cavern, hunting what may be a werewolf.

They gathered pace as they walked. The passageway grew narrow and low, causing them to crouch as they stumbled on. The sound of water grew louder, and the gusting of the wind was like the eerie farting of a giant animal.

Tell me, please, how farting can reasonably be described as 'eerie'? In my experience, wind (of the atmospheric variety) very rarely if ever sounds flatulent – perhaps if it blows under a loose tarpaulin, making it vibrate, but otherwise, really, not. Certainly not, I think, in a pothole under the Derbyshire Peaks, though I'm happy to be corrected by a caver with the requisite experience. The characters don't appear to think that the werewolf may be guffing loudly at them, anyway.

And how in blue pencil blazes did it get past his editor?

As writing, if not as giant animal flatulence, I think it stinks.
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