Alan Clark Diaries

Reading critically

Leigh Turner
Leigh Turner

Reading critically is a great way to improve your writing.  I attempt to do so, often noting down excerpts from books as I read.  Here are three examples.

Read, enjoy, and – if you are a writer – learn from the great authors below.

Reading critically: the Alan Clark diaries

See my February 2017 blog for a full review of this frightening book

Comedy: P G Wodehouse

‘Oh, I’m not complaining,’ said Chuffy, looking rather like Saint Sebastian on receipt of about the fifteenth arrow. ‘You have a perfect right to love who you like.’

Thank you, Jeeves – PG Wodehouse 

Thriller: Lee Child

You’re going to Mississippi.  They’ll think you’re queer.  They’ll beat you to death.’

‘I doubt it,’ I said.

Lee Child – The Affair.  Unusually, “The Affair” is narrated in the first person by Jack Reacher, Child’s indestructible yet – on a good day – ironic hero.  My review of Lee Child’s Jack Reacher novels is positive.

Diary: Alan Clark

“This morning I bathed, before breakfast, in the loch just opposite the targets.  I don’t know what the temperature is, a tiny trace of Gulf Stream perhaps, but not much.  One feels incredible afterwards – like an instant double whisky, but clear-headed.  Perhaps a ‘line’ of coke does this also.  Lithe, vigorous, energetic.  Anything seems possible.”

Alan Clark, The Diaries

For earlier posts of “selected quotations from master writers”, see Carols, the perfect Martini and love: three quotations; Short story technique from the master: 3 quotations; or Two-and-a-half literary quotes.

P.S. I hope you enjoyed this post about reading critically, and the quotations.  If you’d like more, subscribe to my newsletter (you can unsubscribe anytime you wish).  I’ll send you a free “Hotel Story” to say thanks! Or I would be delighted if you would like to follow me on Facebook.

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