Friday, April 27, 2007


I have always loved the work of Graham Greene, and tonight I was browsing through some old notebooks and spotted a few pages where I had jotted down a few things while reading his 1961 novel, A Burnt-Out Case.
This is my [current] favorite Greene novel. I have not read all of his stuff.
I have a beautiful 1962 hardcover edition.

OK, so this blog will be for only those die-hard lovers of S.T.A.N.G.
[Sentences That Aren’t Not Good!]
In other words, I loved these… I am a lover of simile/metaphor:

At the end a half-sentence had been thrust out into into the void – “I will do anything for you in reason, but don’t ask me to revive…” like a plank from a ship’s deck off which a victim has been thrust. [p.52]

He thought, “I was too late,” and an obsessional phrase bobbed up again, like a cork attached to some invisible fishing-net below the water, “Who cares?” “Who cares?” [p.54]

A small black child hardly more than two feet high walked into the room without knocking, coming in like a scrap of shadow from the noonday glare outside. He was quite naked and his little tassel hung like a bean-pod below the pot-belly. [p.74-75]

The superior opened the door, and there the girl was on the threshold, like someone surprised by a camera in a night-club, looking up at the flash, with an ungainly grimace of pain. [p.78]

Father Jean was tall, pale, and concave with a beard which struggled like an unpruned hedge. [p.88]

“I have heard differently from Deo Gratias,” Father Thomas said, fetching up a smile like a liquorice-stick, dark and sweet and prehensible. [p.98]

The fathers in their white soutanes gathered on the veranda like moths round a treacle jar… [p.100]

His eyes were heavy and bloodshot; he pushed his shoulders forward on either side of his shrunken chest as though they were the corners of a book he was trying to close. [p.109]

The Remington portable had been set up on Father Thomas’s table beside the crucifix. On the other side of the cricifix, like the second thief, the Rolleiflex hung by its strap from a nail. [p.111]

The bed bent below Parkinson’s weight as he shifted his buttocks like sacks. [p.115]

But Rycker was like a wall so plastered over with church announcements that you couldn’t even see the brickwork behind. [p.151]

The whisky was finished and the equatorial sky broke outside the window like something smashed suddenly on the curb of the sky, flowing in a stream of pale green and pale yellow and flamingo pink along the horizon, leaving it afterwards just the plain grey colour of any other Thursday. [p.166]

The thunder came nearer, and then the rain: first, it was like skirmishes rustling furtively among the palm-tree fans, creeping through the grass; then it was the confident tread of a great watery host beating a way from across the river to sweep up the veranda steps. The drums of the lepers were extinguished like flames; even the thunder could be heard only faintly behind the great charge of rain. [p.185]

Somewhere a telephone began to ring – a trivial human sound persisting like an infant’s cry through the rain. [p.185]

He put the receiver down and stood bent like a question-mark over the telephone. [p.187]

Well, if you have read this far, then you officially qualify as a Bookpuddle-Approved Luster of Sentences© .
I have written a brief review of A Burnt-Out Case, HERE.

-- Cip


Heather said...

Greene is fantastic. I read your review...was great. Have you checked out Greene video Book reviews? You'll love them.

Heather said...

Sorry about the it is once more:
video book reviews