Noble efforts that don't quite work
"So he's absolutely integral — but integral — so far as local product acceptance is concerned."
"In an above-the-line situation, Gordon."
"Hang on. We'll just kick that one around a bit, shall we? One — have we really lost him, disappearance-wise? Or is he just temporarily snarled up in a bottle situation?"
That's good stuff, but five pages of it is too much. Pompous abbreviations for the men's company and titles are funny on the scene's first page; on its fourth, "TEAK'S DCBV nodded" is tedious piling-on.
On second thought, perhaps length is not entirely to blame. Perhaps the scene, published in 1972, doesn't work in 2007 because so many people really do talk and write that way these days. Conversation-wise, that is.
OK, readers, now you weigh in. What crime-fiction scenes, tricks, devices or tactics have you read that are clever but don't quite work?
© Peter Rozovsky 2007