Marissa Lingen (mrissa) wrote,
Marissa Lingen

Not from around here.

Sometimes when reading a book, I have a moment of thinking, "You're not from around here, are you?" It's come up again with men's sizes: Ted Morgan's Reds (about McCarthyism) refers to a man as a "behemoth." The height and weight given? 6'4", 270#. And okay, that's a big man. Not in any sense a small man. But "behemoth"? Come on, Mr. Morgan -- nobody would stare at a guy that size on the street. He's just not bigger than dozens of men you see every day at the grocery store or Bigdale.

And then: click! Oh. Not from around here. Right.

Sigh. Still. I've run across books referring to huge men, giants, really really big, who were six foot two and over two hundred pounds, oh golly!, and it throws me way out of the book. If it's fiction, I don't think you need the numbers; if nonfiction, I don't think you need the adjectives, unless you're clearly talking about how the people of that person's time/place perceived him/her.
Tags: bookses precious, dead vikings are lots of fun, true north strong and slightly less free

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