We've talked about the science of powerful prose here and here, and we regularly share examples of lines that have smacked us over the head during our reading. But today's lines come from an author you might not be familiar with. Take a look at how David Clark swings so effortlessly between the profane and the profound, starting with a description of an album cover, and continuing with a handful of other excerpts. As usual, all emphasis is mine- the bolded phrases are merely those that crackled with electricity as they entered my brain:
"There was a guy with the cocky expression of a gunfighter frozen in a flamboyant disco pose on a dance floor made of colorful, illuminated blinking squares. He wore a closely fitted white suit with flared slacks and a black spread-collared shirt. His left butt cheek and left arm were cocked to one side, apparently ready to fire off an explosive pelvic thrust. His right arm was extended emphatically skyward like an exclamation point, as if directing the very powers of heaven to take note of the unholy disco carnage he was about to unleash. Inset above him on the album cover was a large photograph of three hairy white men in suffocatingly tight white jumpsuits smiling gaily and benevolently down upon the ultraserious dancer."
"These were not hands of rest or pleasant parlor conversation; these were hands of planting, picking, plucking, scrubbing, shearing, slicing, sewing, boiling, bathing, mending, canning, chopping, and kneading- of doing. These were hands upon which life itself depended."
"At first the breezeless warmth of the dumpster felt reassuring, almost cacoonlike, but I soon realized that it acted as a perfect Dutch oven for its putrid contents."
"The initial shock and the lingering nausea, like a migraine in your nut pouch, left you powerless to retaliate for at least fifteen minutes."
"We continued on past the sculpted dead-end hollows and box canyons with their juniper and piñon pine and the varicose veins of cottonwood scrub tracing every gully and wash that had a trickle of water, through the quiet farms of Hatch and Hillsdale and the comparative bustle of Panguitch's Main Street."
"I noticed the texture and complexity of the web of wrinkles that shot out from the corners of her eyes and then curved and twirled in their own unique patterns down her cheekbones and across her jaw."
Pretty great, right? If you're intrigued, come back tomorrow and we'll review the book for you...