Another Lovely Long Sentence

All round them, ten, scores, it seems like hundreds, of faces and bodies are perspiring, trooping and bellying up the stairs with arterio-sclerotic grimaces past a showcase full of such novel items as Joy Buzzers, Squirting Nickels, Finger Rats, Scary Tarantulas and spoons with realistic dead flies on them, past Fred’s barbershop, which is just off the landing and has glossy photographs of young men with the kind of baroque haircuts one can get in there, and up onto 50th Street into a madhouse of traffic and shops with weird lingerie and gray hair-dyeing displays in the windows, signs for free teacup readings and a pool-playing match between the Playboy Bunnies and Downey’s Showgirls, and then everybody pounds on toward the Time-Life Building, the Brill Building or NBC.

Link to the rest at The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby by Tom Wolf

4 thoughts on “Another Lovely Long Sentence”

  1. Well… I like Tom Wolfe (sometimes) and I don’t mind a chewy sentence necessarily, but since I consider breaking a reader’s trance the worst sin a narrative writer can do, something that makes me reread like this to make sure I’ve parsed it correctly is not high on my list of good practices. Better terse and witty than baroque and indulgent, to my taste. Too much of the “me, me, look what I can do” about it.

    I do realize this may be a minority viewpoint…

  2. I stumbled over that sentence several times trying to get through it. The avalanche of items is a great technique for getting across a chaotic scene – I’ve used it in battle scenes to bring across the idea of so much happening at once that it is hard to focus on any one thing. BUT it’s not something I like to see (or use) a lot as it is very hard to read. Words blur into each other and your brain frantically tries to tie everything together into a cohesive picture.
    One person’s ‘lovely’ is another person’s WTF?

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