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The Spectacular Now

The Spectacular Now


by Tim Tharp

Analysis: Writing Style

Like a Tipsy Conversation

Have you ever talked to someone who was a little drunk? We hope not—so just take our word for it: Sutter's style of narration is exactly like having a chat with someone who's tipsy. He tells the story with all kinds of crazy embellishments and funny asides, and segues regularly into random, grandiose observations about life and love. The words he chooses fit the bill, too: slang and curse words all the way.

Let's take a look at one typical scene. Driving home after seeing his dad, Sutter's trashed and mad. (Uh, don't try this at home. Totally illegal, not to mention irresponsible and possibly leading to some manslaughter charges.)

From behind, a car horn blares. I guess the Mitsubishi must've meandered about six inches into the other lane, and some dude back there thinks he's traffic control. I'm like, "F- you, dude." There are a lot more hazardous types on the road than me – cell phone talkers, chicks putting on makeup, guys searching their floorboard for some crappy CD they dropped. (61.17)

Curse words? Check. Lack of responsibility for his behavior? Check. (We don't think the Mitsubishi was wandering, dude.) Rambling and wordy? Check. Close talking? Probably. If you close your eyes, you can probably even smell the whisky on his breath as he tells this story.

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