Tuesday, December 27, 2011


I realized that two books I'm dipping into are both from 1954 (and both from the UK). Here then are two excellent similes from that year:

He ambled stoutly across the wide floor of the bar which looked out on the terrace where the ladies of the club were gathered in deck-chairs—a colourful and decorative picture which looked like the second act of a musical comedy reproduced some twenty years later with the same cast. —Walter Tyrer, Such Friends Are Dangerous (1954)

[Bond] was glad to keep silent and gaze out at his first sight of America since the war. It was no waste of time to start picking up the American idiom again: the advertisements, the new car models, and the prices of second-hand ones in the used-car lots; the exotic pungency of the road signs: SOFT SHOULDERS—SHARP CURVES—SQUEEZE AHEAD—SLIPPERY WHEN WET; the standard of driving; the number of women at the wheel, their menfolk docilely beside them; the men’s clothes; the way the women were doing their hair; the Civil Defense warnings: IN CASE OF ENEMY ATTACK KEEP MOVING—GET OFF BRIDGE; the thick rash of television aerials and the impact of TV on billboards and shop windows; the occasional helicopter; the public appeals for cancer and polio funds: THE MARCH OF DIMES—all the small fleeting impressions that were as important to his trade as are broken bark and bent twigs to the trapper in the jungle. —Ian Fleming, Live and Let Die (1954)

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