The figurative language of Noah Hawley…

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 metaphors from Noah Hawley….

I don’t typically read murder mysteries but when my friend Carlos Chavez recommend such a title a few days before I was about to go on holiday, I decided to succumb.

Before the  Fall by producer, screenwriter, and bestselling author Noah Hawley (pictured above) is a book that moves at the speedy clip perfect for plane rides or time on the beach.

(You may know Hawley as the creator and writer of the following TV series:  FX,  Fargo and Legion . Earlier, he worked on BonesThe Unusuals and My Generation.)

In addition to knowing how to stick-handle plot, Hawley also has a deft eye and ear for figurative language. Here are my favourite examples from Before the Fall.

  • San Francisco was foggy and cold that weekend, wide avenues rolling like tongue tricks down to the water.
  • The shoulder is dislocated, not broken. The procedure to pop it back into place is an epic lightning strike of violence followed immediately by a cessation of pain so intense it’s as if the damage has been erased from his body retroactively.
  • It is a space of pure white — white walls, white floor, white ceiling, white furniture — as if he has died and moved on to some kind of heavenly limbo.
  • On days when the temperature was over 90 she might buy a shaved ice from a Mexican man with a cart — usually cherry — and sit in the grass eating it with the flat thumbnail of a tiny spoon.
  • Maggie shook her head, shock calming her, making her limbs feel like seaweed floating on the waves.
  • The house is small and hidden by trees. There is a port leading to it, as if the wide-plank slats on the left end of the building have given up over the years, slumping from exhaustion or boredom or both.
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