September 28, 2011
Morgenstern's writing is especially strong when it comes to imagery. At times, it's almost like reading a director's notes. Just one example:
"After the performance has concluded, the man in the grey suit navigates the crush of patrons in the lobby with ease. He slips through a curtained door leading to the backstage dressing rooms unnoticed. Stagehands and dressers never so much as glance at him. He raps on the door at the end of the hall with the silver tip of his cane."
Morgenstern also does a fabulous job of earning your empathy for characters, like Celia, the magician's daughter:
"Her father brings her everywhere while she is small, parading her like a well-loved small dog in expensive gowns, for his colleagues and acquaintances to fawn over in pubs after performances. When he decides she is too tall to be an adorable accessory, he begins abandoning her in dressing rooms or hotels."
Really, you can turn to just about any page in this book and the voice comes through so strong it nearly takes your breath away. A richly imagined circus, fleshed-out characters, scenes that touch all your senses, everything is imbued with Morgenstern's unique perspective.
Look no further if you want to know what agents mean when they're looking for "voice".
Have you read it yet?