Sebastian Faulks offers some delicious images…

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 simile from Sebastian Faulks…

In his interesting (albeit uneven) collection of stories and novellas, titled A Possible Life, Sebastian Faulks offers some particularly delicious figurative language. I use the word “delicious” deliberately as his sentences, below, are concerned with food or eating.

In a veritable hat-trick of imagery, he gives a simile, burnished by a metaphor, followed by another simile. Here is the paragraph in which he displays his wares:

We left our bags and stepped into Hermina’s salon, which was like stepping into a French pastry, all billowy with creams and pallors, marzipan and peach. There was nothing crisp about the place. It was all soft lines and colors. An ivory grand piano sat poised in a tall bay window like an albino alligator with its jaw open wide. 

Comparing a piano to an alligator is my favourite image, perhaps because I’m learning to play the piano myself. But I also like the way he crosses the time/logic continuum, by suggesting that readers consider walking into a pastry…