Comparison Description

As I gain circuits around the Sun, I read more. Both fiction and non-fiction interest me. I mix non-fiction learning with fiction novels that carry me to a different place or a different time. In fictional novels in particular some authors are able to wind story telling with colorful comparisons. Most times when I read these they seem to jump off the page.

Many fictional authors are excellent at painting a picture with words. Many are able to insert their own colloquialisms and can make you laugh. here I have assembled some.

Useless Items

… about as useful as a steering wheel on a mule. (Clayton Lindemuth)

How Cold is it? (Or Hot?)

… so cold outside it would freeze the balls off a billiard table.

The next morning it was hot as a swamp. (Ann Patchett) — I live in Ohio. Hot as a swamp spoke to me and said damp summer air.

I particularly like mixed metaphors. It makes one think of the correct comparison and then put it back together to find the humor.

Appearance and Dress

He looked as if he had been assembled from a pile of dried sticks by an apprentice god. (Dean Koontz)

He looked like a wise Zen Master who had been forced to to don the clothes of an avant-garde artist after getting the wrong suitcase at the airport. (Dean Koontz)

Dean Koontz is a favorite author of mine. He appeals to me because when I read his novels I can see his characters and the way they dress and the landscape the live in. The first example above is an appropriate example of his ability to say; the guy was skinny in a clever and colorful way.

She was wearing a slim black dress, sleeveless and short, over a fitted white blouse. She was wearing black high-heeled shoes. With her straight blond hair in a single loose braid, she looked like the music-video version of the Catholic school girl she’d once been. (Ann Patchett) … a plain regular descriptive paragraph until the last phrase.

Disposition and Attitude

… with dispositions so vicious as to make any New York headwaiter think twice about being rude. (Koontz)

Faster Than

… without his getting a lawyer mouthpiece faster than Michael Jackson gets new faces. (Kellerman)

… my motion slowed to something more like a turtle on Valium than a pinball…

With all the gusto of a blind hound dog! (Fritz A.)

Unanswered Questions

If Mormons gambled, where would you put your money? (Kellerman)

Many life questions have no answer. Perhaps I am being too philosophical. Where would you put your money?

Stature Height

… so tall he could hunt geese with a rake. The reader is left to decide whether the geese are migrating or landing near a pond to rest along their migration route. Nevertheless, a tall person.


They were tighter than bark on a tree. (grip strength) Wouldn’t pull a hat off your head. (force strength)

Early Morning

More from Dean Koontz — …while the last defenses of the night held off the advancing dawn. more still … as the morning spread its flamingo pink wings across the east.

Reading has always given me great pleasure. It takes me away from the constant demands of giving care. Listening to conversation and how friends, family and acquaintances express various concepts in a colorful way gives me great pleasure also.

I am a poor blogger and a worse listener but when color appears in a novel or in the way someone relates a story to me or another audience a part of me lights up inside with pleasure and admiration for the speaker.

Updates to this collection may appear as I find all my post it notes.