Good Writing: From the New York Times Book Review

Who could resist reading graf three if graf two reads like this? It’s from the New York Times Book Review of June 29, a review by novelist Max Byrd of a new novel, The Last Kind Words Saloon, by Larry McMurtry:

“If a reviewer is tempted to write in laconic, drawling phrases, with pauses now and then for a sip of something amber, that’s because Larry McMurtry possesses one of the most engaging, tempting-to-imitate voices in contemporary American fiction, a voice so smooth and mellow you can almost hear the ice clink against the glass as he talks.”

Graf one?

“Wonderful title. Head-scratcher of a novel.”

—Mike Feinsilber


  1. By Ashley Halsey III in the Washington Post:

    “A massive machine — longer than a football field — is munching away beneath Washington like a giant earthworm. Before it’s done, it will devour about 2 million cubic yards of soil that has been sitting under the city since the days of the dinosaurs.

    “It is the most amazing and expensive construction project that no one ever will see.

    “It will come within a center fielder’s throw of Nationals Park, within a corner kick of RFK Stadium, nibble at the deepest roots from the National Arboretum, pass below the Love Nightclub and the United House of Prayer for All, go under railroad tracks that carry 1 million-pound trains into Union Station and a six-lane roadway used by 60,000 cars a day, gnaw its way under Home Depot’s doorstep and then chomp more than a mile and a half down Rhode Island Avenue toward Logan Circle.”

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