Why this is not quoted anywhere on the Internet, I have no idea — June 28, 2016

Why this is not quoted anywhere on the Internet, I have no idea

I tried any number of reasonable Google searches to get this text, then finally gave up and found it in my paper copy of Anthony Lane’s Nobody’s Perfect. Lane is reading each of the top 10 New York Times bestsellers from the week of May 15, 1994. Hence I give you:

No. 5 on the list is Inca Gold, by Clive Cussler. The plot is some farrago about buried treasure in the Andes, and the characters, though intended to be as tough as old boots, are not quite tough enough to curse properly. “Those fornicating baboons” is about as close as they get. The fruitful comparison here is with Judith Krantz, who I thought would be partial to soft-core euphemisms like “manhood” and “moistness” but never hesitates to call a fuck a fuck. The only point of interest in Inca Gold, in fact, is Cussler’s attempt to out-Folsom Alan Folsom, sometimes in the most unsuitable places: “the underwater blast came like the eruption of a huge depth charge as a seething column of white froth and green slime burst out of the sinkhole, splattering everyone and everything standing within 20 meters (66 feet) of the edge.” I love that parenthesis more than I can say. Someone should ask Mr. Cussler to edit an anthology of English verse. He could start with Robert Frost:

And miles (multiples of 1.6 kilometres)
to go before I sleep.
And miles (multiples of 1.6 kilometres)
to go before I sleep.

(British spelling of ‘kilometers’ is [sic], by the way, because The New Yorker. These are the same people who spell it ‘focussed’.)