Max and Other Stories
Heinemann, 224 pp, $14.95 pb
There’s a lot to be said for plain writing for writing in such a way that the reader is nudged along through nuance and observation to perception. Plain writing tends to make the reader feel as if they too are watching impassively what the writer sees. It’s a little like standing in shallow water, not noticing the tide coming in. Plain writing involves the reader; any shocks, or passions, come from within the story not from the use of highly coloured words or manipulative tricks.
There used to be a saying: Penny plain; twopence coloured. It came from the sale of cardboard prints in a London toyshop. The uncoloured prints were considered inferior, less exciting. They left too much to the imagination.