Somebody out there liked my book.
In fact, she singles out for praise a single sentence. And the sad truth is: I have no memory of having written this sentence. I guess I’d imagined her favorite sentence would be something I, too, would have singled out in my mind. But no.
Anyway, here it is:
My father, a mild man, dedicated to prudent consistency, demurred.
I’ll stand by this sentence. I think the long part (“dedicated to prudent consistency”) is a bit too chunky in the mouth — too many palatal consonants. I like the faintly comic tang you get from delaying the verb to the end — I stole this trick from somewhere, I don’t remember where. (It might have just been the German language in general.)
Anyway, I have a favorite sentence in the book, but I don’t care to reveal it. Instead, here are a couple of my very favorites from other people’s books.
One from Michael Chabon’s The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, I have quoted here before:
…the library, the dead core of my education, the white, silent kernel of every empty Sunday I had spent trying to ravish the faint charms of economics, my sad and cynical major.
And, in another register, from Richard Brautigan’s Trout Fishing in America:
The sun was like a huge fifty-cent piece that someone had poured kerosene on and then lit with a match and said ‘Here, hold this while I go get a newspaper,’ and put the coin in my hand but never came back.
I like the way this sentence is not a sentence, but reads as one.