Reading Moby Dick out loud to my son — at his request with “no scary parts, dad” — I’m amazed at the difference in rhythm between contemporary fiction of this century and the last two. I know Melville’s a special case, all manic skipping lines, excitement, exasperation, then thunk, dead stop, horror. I know. But today’s work doesn’t really compare.
OK, that makes me sound about eighty years older than I actually am. But you all know what I’m talking about. I’m wracking my brain trying to come up with a fair, passing delightful, contemporary prose stylist. I’m sure there are some that are absolute pleasures to read aloud. I’m sure I’ve even read some. The only real stylist I can think of is Hemingway and he’s defiantly not delightful in the sense I’m thinking of. He’s more “Get out from between me and my drink so I can shoot that lion.”
Anyone got any ideas? If you want to recommend someone I’d appreciate it. Bonus points if the author has published short stories I can easily find in a used book store.
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