Tuesday 7 June 2011

Musical prose at it's best!

Sleep Before EveningSleep Before Evening by Magdalena Ball

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am so excited to have found another author to fall in love with. I'm really picky with what I read, and I tend to lean toward more character-driven works, than driving plots. This is one of those kinds of books. But what I am in love with here is not only the story, it is the WAY in which it is written: with utter musical and poetic genius. A blend of story-telling and musical prose is what I want to achieve in my own writing. I guess that's why I love this book so much. It represents how I strive to be. My only hope is that my books are half as brilliant as this. If so, then I'm a happy camper. :o)

A couple of my favorite prose moments are:

Pg. 44

"Russell's skin was gunmetal grey. He held his hands over his ears while his mouth opened into an elongated O, becoming the perfect example of German Expressionism. Striated oranges and blacks flickered on the wall above his head and, for a moment, she saw the world through her mother's eyes - in lights and colors rather than sound and words."

And Pg. 50

"Flowers were strewn over the floor, bright lilies and carnations lying like war carnage, mocking their original purpose as a peace offering."

Buy this book. And relish every moment of it.

How about you? Do you like to make note of exceptional prose in what you read? If so, what is it that makes you want to remember it forever?

View all my reviews

REMINDERS: Have you signed up for my String Bridge Book & Music Blog Tour yet? If not, and you'd like to, just click HERE. You can also now add it to your TBR file on Goodreads. It's up!


  1. I remember some passages from my favourite books. "Even the Wisest cannot see all ends". Perhaps not as poetic, but more to the point. Specifically, it is useful to remember as a quote to use in conversations. I normally earn some puzzled looks with that one :)

  2. I too can remember certain lines I have written in my poems,

    Having been away I don't know about your blog fest so have not signed up.

    Have a good day.

  3. The book sounds wonderful. I actually took a class from her during an online conference. She was wonderful. I'm definitely a reader who can appreciate a pretty-written sentence.

  4. I love great prose. That's one reason I'm reading authors like Virgina Woolf and others like her. Sadly then, you won't like my book. It's a mystery and though it has great characters, it's mainly plot driven.

  5. I do, absolutely, love great writing. Especially if it is so beautiful (even if describing something terrible) that it flows like music off the page.

    I don't read a lot of literary novels, but when I do, they tend to be the ones that stay in my head the longest.

  6. This is some exceptional writing. I appreciate when a book is elevated with beautiful language. For me, I enjoy character over heavy action. In YA these days, there's a lot of heavy action out there.

  7. Love the use of the word striated in the first quote.

  8. Wow, the book sounds great! So glad you posted it, I'll have to check it out. =)

  9. Those are lovely snippets. I love when authors are poets as well ... when the prose just flows from you lips.

  10. I was only bemoaning this fact to a friend recently. We were talking about poetry but the same logic applies to prose. I read a lot of poetry online these days and occasionally, as you might expect, I chance across a truly great poem and what do I do with it? I read it, enjoy it and then move onto the next blog or whatever and that is such a shame. I’d like to think that I would remember it but who am I kidding? I can’t remember most of the stuff I write myself. I don’t read so much fiction online – I follow a couple of flash sites faithfully – but again, when I do come across a wee gem I never think to save a copy to enjoy again later. Is this what’s going to happen to reading in the future: read and move on, read and move on, read and move on?

  11. I have a friend who often buys two copies of books she loves because she writes all over one. I've tried, but I've never been able to do that .

  12. I will definitely look for this one!

  13. Beautiful passages! Carnations lying like war carnage - hmmm, this is layered - lots there. It's difficult to write a book that isn't plot-driven, almost as if that art belonged to another era.

  14. Ooo. you make that sound so good. I wrote down the title. I'll stop in the middle of a good read, reread, and make note of exceptional passages, the ones that sing to my soul.

  15. story telling and musical prose sounds good to me too!
    I like the title too!

  16. good stuff, jessica!

    since i only own hard copy tales, i bookmark those sections that resonate...

    if the p.44 elongated 'o' is in reference to edvard munch's, 'the scream', someone needs tell her munch is norwegian, NOT german....

  17. He may have been Norwegian but his style ART was German expressionism ;o)


“I'm using my art to comment on what I see. You don't have to agree with it.” ~John Mellencamp

“Allowing an unimportant mistake to pass without comment is a wonderful social grace” ~Judith S. Marin

“I don't ever try to make a serious social comment.” ~Paul McCartney

“I'd make a comment at a meeting and nobody would even acknowledge me. Then some man would say the same thing and they'd all nod.” ~Charlotte Bunch

“Probably what my comment meant was that I don't care about the circumstances if I can tell the truth.” ~Sally Kirkland

“We're not going to pay attention to the silliness and the petty comments. And quite frankly, women have joined me in this effort, and so it's not about appearances. It's about effectiveness.” ~Katherine Harris