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From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler


by E.L. Konigsburg

Analysis: Writing Style

A Rather Long-Winded (But Well Written) Letter

To our dear readers,

Let us explain to you the writing style in the book at hand. Though we could concisely tell you (in very few words) why we are writing this letter, we will instead, for some reason, write a 162-page letter. Why, that's practically a novel, isn't it?

Just kidding! But seriously, this book is written as an insanely long letter from Mrs. Frankweiler to her attorney Saxonberg.

The introduction starts off in the following way:

To my lawyer, Saxonberg:

I can't say that I enjoyed your last visit… (1.1)

Cool! So she's going to write a quick letter to her lawyer (whose visit she apparently didn't enjoy), and just tell him what to do about her will, right? Wrong. This is the longest letter. Ever.

Though it employs many of the usual conventions of a novel (for example, everything is focused on Claudia and Jamie's journey instead of Mrs. Frankweiler herself), it's still extremely polished and well thought out. There are also little asides to Saxonberg here and there, but even those are thoughtfully spaced out.

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