The Compleat Simile
Posted in Books
Last dog watch, 8 bells (8:26 pm)

Yesterday I started reading a book by Keith Laumer called The Compleat Bolo, written in the 1960s with a follow-up story in the mid-80s.

I've only gotten about 55 pages into the book, but I had to stop and talk about this. Laumer uses similes. A lot of them, sometimes even in the same paragraph. It's crazy. For instance:

A sound brought me awake like an old maid smelling cigar smoke in the bedroom

My chances had been as slim as a gambler's wallet all along…

Without them it was no more dangerous than a farmer with a shotgun—

…towering over its waiting escort like a planet among moons.

The broken arm hung at my side like a fence post nailed to my shoulder…

…but they slid aside for my electropass like a shower curtain at the YW.

These are just some of the similes I've read in the last 10 minutes or so, finally forcing my hand and making me quote them. I want to keep a pad of post-it notes with the book now so I can mark them all.

Is there something about the "YW" and their shower curtains that is different from everyone else's? Do they have some newer sliding technology that the common 1960s home lacks?


2 Responses to “The Compleat Simile”

  1. Mae says:

    Book similies often make me scratch my head. I read "The Shipping News" several years ago and I'm still wondering what the heck color "Eyes the color of plastic" is supposed to be.

  2. Glen says:

    Your post didn't make sense until I realized you were saying SIMILIES not SMILIES.

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