“He had short-cropped hair and a jawline lean and sharp enough to cur cake. He wore a gray suit with, unlike other board members, no pocket hankie. He had an economy of style and, like a gifted athlete, an economy of movement, as if he were conserving his energy for a meaningful explosion.”
That’s Michael Lewis describing a 1980s hatchet man inside Salomon Brothers in Liar’s Poker.
What I love about this is there’s nothing flashy or particularly clever. Sometimes good writing is in the unassuming details and the workmanlike job of getting from big idea to the next. Shouldn’t need more than a simple paragraph to say everything necessary about something.
“Now Alan found himself in the odd position of having to defend a woman who had tunneled through him so many times and so recklessly that he felt lucky to appear, from a distance, whole.”
That’s Dave Eggers describing a mid-fifties divorced man reflecting on his ex-wife in A Hologram For The King.
Perfect arrangement of words.