quote:Instantly he flipped around, his feet flying over his head, and landed flat on his back against the wall.
- Ender's Game by OSC
I was one of many, many children who considered the book sacred because it included crippling issues most adults believed (believe?) don't exist in a child's world and so refuse to address. The combination of Card's concise writing style and complex storytelling continue to impress me in adulthood.
I fudged this a little because the fifth sentence was a two word piece of dialogue revealing little style:
At first I had thought Dan Needham was a fool like all the others, and that he didn't know the first thing about six-year-olds-that to tell a six-year-old not to open a bag was an invitation to open it-but he knew very well what a six-year-old was like; to his credit, Dan Needham was always a little bit of a six-year-old himself. -A Prayer for Owen Meany- John Irving
Don't dream that you know this story because you saw "Simon Birch" there is a reason that they had to change the name.
My second favorite--as was reminded by a couple of recent posts--and most influential maybe:
quote:Only Gandalf had shaken his head and said nothing.
- The Hobbit by (the truly immortal) Professor J. R. R. Tolkien
Edited to add: Now, cross-match your favorite book answer, with your nearest fiction book answer. How different is the prose? Better? Cleaner? Dirtier? What makes the nearest not your favorite?
Interesting, the conversations we've had about prose and voice and person/PoV lately, because my suggestion was along those lines. Your "favorite" being the control piece, how does other work match up? And why or where--if so--does it fail? Furthermore, does prose, author's promise, description or PoV stand out or fade into the background?
[This message has been edited by InarticulateBabbler (edited December 12, 2008).]
Favorite book: "Buttercup thought she was entitled to do nothing more than sit around moping and feeling sorry for herself." (The Princess Bride, by William Goldman)
Closest fiction I'm reading: "It was already one in the morning; the rain pattered dismally against the panes, and my candle was nearly burnt out, when, by the glimmer of the half-extinguished light, I saw the dull, yellow eye of the creature open; it breathed hard and a convulsive motion agitated its limbs." (Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley-- bwahaha... good line choice. Hm.)
The differences in these two are pretty obvious. One is very high style, the other is low style. William Goldman has simple, to the point prose, and nineteen year old Mary Shelley is almost a bit flowery with hers. Both good, for very different reasons.
missjack, I love The Princess Bride! Good choice. Personally, I might choose one of George R. R. Martin's novels, for their energy and enormous character population, but right now I feel a particular fondness for William Peter Blatty's "The Exorcist." Sick, huh? I made myself read it so I would no longer have nightmares about the movie. The therapy worked. Here's the quote:
"Beginning on the day after Regan's birthday--and following Howard's failure to call--she had noticed a sudden and dramatic change in her daughter's behavior and disposition."
But page 57's fifth line is: "His swollen head felt like a giant melon--and there was a pulsating pain, like a knife stabbing his temples over and over."
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