a man who knows his way around a metaphor

I’m listening to Michael Chabon’s The Yiddish Policeman’s Union, and I’m struck by this guy’s way with a metaphor. Two examples:

A narrow pile of dirty white brick and slit windows, three or four bloks off the tawdriest stretch of Monsatir Street, the place has all the allure of a dehumidifier.

and

His face is mostly jowl and his ridged forehead looks like one of those domed beehives you see representing industry in medieval woodcuts.

I heard the first one just as I returned from the store to exchange a humidifier, so it really hit home.  I have no idea what he’s talking about in the second one, but somehow it rings clever.

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4 thoughts on “a man who knows his way around a metaphor”

  1. I get the image of the second one too. Well, AN image anyway. He’s good, that Chabon. He has another new one and I just bought it for A for his b-day.

  2. Oh nice. The only other book I’ve read by him is Kavalier and Clay, which I loved. (I think of it as my second favorite novel, after Mistry’s A Fine Balance.) I’ll be interested to hear if the new one is good. This one (Yiddish PU) reminds me a little bit of Plot Against America in the fact that it’s alternative history focused on a Jewish community. Obviously a completely different plot.

  3. Yes, the first one spoke to me more as well. The second one evokes only mild confusion (I’ve never seen one of these woodcuts), but I kind of enjoy the obscurity.

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