18 October 2007

Mining for Metaphors in Predator's Gold

It took me about halfway through Predator's Gold, the second in Philip Reeve's Hungry City Chronicles books, before I realized what a dab hand he is with a metaphor. He's got some similes that P. G. Wodehouse and Raymond Chandler would be proud of. And they work thematically, both in individual moments and with the watery setting of the book (on ice, undersea, on a remote island). Some samples:

"The explorer's face had turned the color of expensive cheese..."

"A few hundred feet below the Jenny Haniver's gondola, vast rough pans of sea ice were sliding by. . . . Tom and Hester, looking down from the flight-deck windows at the never-ending whiteness, felt as if they had been flying forever over this armored ocean."

"Not that there was anything there to see. Only a broad circle of open water, and the waves slapping and clopping at its edges with a sound like sarcastic applause."

"The pain came in like the long, gray breakers at Rogues' Roost, steady and slow, each wave fading into the next."

"She saw pine trees on the heights, and birches holding up handfuls of last summer's leaves like pale gold coins."

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