Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Well-Written Sentence

Patrick O’Brian, author of the Master and Commander naval novels, a 20+ volume series featuring Capt. Jack Aubrey, wrote good literature.  This opening sentence of ch. 5 in H.M.S. Surprise caught my attention for its imaginative phrasing.

“The sun beat down from its noon-day height upon Bombay, imposing a silence upon that teeming city, so that even in the deepest bazaars the steady beat of the surf could be heard—the panting of the Indian Ocean, dull ochre under a sky too hot to be blue, a sky waiting for the south-west monsoon …”

“imposing a silence” … "the panting of the Indian Ocean" ... “a sky too hot to be blue” 

Very suggestive, picturesque.

1 comment:

MMR said...

I am impressed by the use of the word ochre.