Praise for Declan Burke: “Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Things That Get On My Tits # 1,249 (Vol. III): ‘It Was All …’

Further to Dave White’s post on blogs, wherein he lists the usual crap you can find on most blogs, he neglected to mention the ‘Totally Random Rant’, in which someone – your humble host, say – goes off at a tangent that has nothing to do with anything, really. To wit: today I came across the latest in what seems to be the latest and most irritating cliché of any kind of writing, the descriptive sentence that begins with, “It was all …”.
  I’ve probably been guilty of this myself, by the way.
  Anyway, rather than describe a kitchen properly, for example, a writer will say, “It was all chrome and black marble.” Now, it patently wasn’t – if the kitchen was ‘all’ black marble and chrome, no one would be able to get into it, seeing as how the entire kitchen would be composed of black marble and chrome. In effect, you’d have a cuboid of black marble and chrome where your kitchen is supposed to be. That’s helping nobody, but especially not the reader who has just visualised said cuboid.
  I’m being a pedant, obviously, but it never fails to set my teeth on edge. Any other takers?
  The place I saw it today, funnily enough, was in the otherwise balls-achingly brilliant BLOOD’S A ROVER. Every time you read a James Ellroy you think, well, at least he won’t be able to top that. And then he does. Damn his beautiful eyes.