The figurative language of Anthony Horowitz

Reading time: Less than 1 minute

I like to share interesting pieces of figurative language I encounter in my reading. I write today about a series of similes from Anthony Horowitz

I don’t typically read murder mysteries but somehow the novel Magpie Murders, by Anthony Horowitz (pictured above), made its way into my hands. Horowitz has written more than 40 books including the bestselling teen spy series Alex Rider, which he adapted into a movie that was released worldwide in 2006. The Alex Rider series is estimated to have sold 19 million copies worldwide.

I found the Magpie Murders rather amusing — a story within a story, or a mystery within a mystery. And to my (mostly untrained) ear, the work echoed the style of Agatha Christie (whom I have admittedly not read for more than 40 years.) I also enjoyed some of Horowitz’s  figurative language which I found humourous.

Here are my favourite examples:

  • Pünd spoke the perfect, studied English of the cultivated foreigner, enunciating every syllable as if to apologise for his German accent.
  • ‘Herr Pünd!’ he exclaimed. It was always “Herr’ and somehow Chubb implied that there was some failing in Pünd’s character being born in Germany.
  • He was both as prominent and as unremarkable as the weather vane on the steeple of St. Botolph’s.
  • Nobody would have been able to miss [the grave] as they made their way to the church. His closet neighbours had died almost a century before him and the newly dug earth appeared as a fresh scar; as if it had no right to be there. 

An earlier version of this post first appeared on my blog on Feb. 1/18.

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