Study Guide

Artemis Fowl Writing Style

By Eoin Colfer

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Writing Style


If we could call a writing style detective-y, we would. Colfer's book isn't really mysterious, but it definitely takes a page from the classic hard-boiled detective novels. Take a look at the length of the sentences—you'll rarely find a complete sentence that's more than a line long. When Holly is about to take the pod up to the surface, for example, the narrator tells us: 

The pod shuddered to a halt at the lip. The chute stretched above and below. Massive. Boundless. Like dropping an ant down a drainpipe. (3.150) 

Each sentence is designed to jump out at you quickly and move right into the next (just like the pod). The keeps the action moving along at a brisk pace, and chances are you won't ever be bored. Even Artemis's villain speeches have quick sentences and intense word choices—and this is a guy who's known for blabbing on and on. When he's about to blow up Root and the whaling ship, for instance, instead of doing a big old villain monologue that reveals all his plans, what he says is: 

"Fly, little fairy. […] And tell your friends Artemis Fowl the Second says hello." (5.293) 

It's still got a villainous feel, but Artemis keeps things short and sweet. And with sentences that end just as quickly as they begin, we stay on the edge of our seats until the very last page.

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