That's because passages like this, from early in Under the Bright Lights, give me a vivid feeling of being in a place distinctive and different from my usual surroundings, and that's what crossing borders is all about:
"He had tried to explain that the bar was the center of the neighborhood in which they had grown up, and the regulars were neighbors first and threats to society second. ... Such explanations were regarded as suspiciously metaphysical by his superiors."The book's early pages remind me of novels about which some readers complain that the characters do nothing but crack wise. Maybe I'll grow weary of this as I read more, but so far the voice is so distinctive, it has such a knack of making amusing even ordinary remarks not intended as jokes, that I'm happy to go along for the ride. Here's one more example, and then a question:
"Duncan smiled at her. She was a drinker with good looks picking up speed downhill, which was his usual game, but she was Pete's woman."Neither of these two passages includes physical description of Woodrell's fictional city of St. Bruno, but each gives a brief, sharp sense of the novel's human setting. And now, the question: Physical description is one way authors create a sense of place. What are some others?
© Peter Rozovsky 2011