Re: RARA-AVIS: down by the river/cuba/Rankin

From: Mark Sullivan (
Date: 16 Jan 2002

Carrie wrote:

"I commented a while ago that I'm not overwhelmed with Ian Rankin's writing though I like his books. I guess what I mean is that I don't ever recall stopping to savor a specific phrase or bit of dialogue in his books the way I do with my favorite writers . . . there just haven't been those passages that absolutely blow me away."

I know what you're talking about. And there are authors whose sentences I stop and reread because they get something so right or state it so eloquently. However, is this necessarily a good thing? Isn't there something to be said for transparent prose, writing that calls no attention to itself, so it never gets between you and the story? Obviously, bad writing gets between you and the story in another way.


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