Saturday, May 23, 2009

Harold Coyle, They Are Soldiers

A master of American English syntax, Harold Coyle grabs you by the hand and won’t let go until you are done with the book. They Are Soldiers is a showcase for athletic prose.

But how does he do it?

The secret is in his sentence openers. Seldom does one find the pattern subject, verb, complement. His openers abound in prepositional phrases and lots of subordinate clauses. Gone are the days when American writers--under the influence of Ernest Hemingway--wrote tedious chains of short declarative sentence.

Writers like Harold Coyle will re-instate American English to prominence once again.

The grunts fighting the war in Iraq are in great numbers our friends, neighbors, and relatives: The Army Reserve and the National Guard. Coyle’s theme is that these citizens are soldiers—not to be looked down as a half-ragged militia.

What a joy it is to read fluid, breathless narrative.

Read Coyle’s book. Pray for our men and women in uniform. It's time to bring them back--unharmed and whole or wounded and maimed, but bring them back--to their friends, their moms, and pops, siblings, friends, their hoods, their towns, their states—bring them back to a grateful nation!

The writing techniques I employ in this article are all explained in Mary Duffy's writing manual:

Augustine, City of God
Austen J, Pride and Prejudice
Austen J, "Marriage Proposals and Me"
Austen J, Emma
Borges, The Aleph
C. Bronte, Jane Eyre
Burroughs E,Tarzan
Cervantes, Don Quijote
Chaucer, Wife of Bath
Coelho P,The Alchemist
Coyle H, They Are Soldiers
Dante, New Life
Dickens C, David Copperfield
Dostoevsky, Crime&Punishment
ConanDoyle,Hound of Baskervilles
Dubner S, Superfreakonomics

DuMaurier D, Rebecca
Ellis B. E. American Psycho
Fitzgerald S, Great Gatsby
Flaubert G, Madame Bovary
Fleming I,Doctor No
Freud S, Leonardo Da Vinci
Friedan B, Feminine Mystique
GarciaMarquez, Of Love & OtherDemons
Guerrero M,ThePoison Pill

Grass G, The Tin Drum
Harris T, Hannibal Rising
Heidegger M,House of Being
Ishiguro K, Remains of The Day
Johnson S,Rasselas
Kosinski J, The Painted Bird
Lee H,To Kill a Mockingbird
McBain Ed,Gutter and Grave
Murakami H,Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
Nabokov V, Lolita
Meyer, S, Twilight
Ortega,Dehumanization of Art
Poe E A, Gordon Pym
Prose F, Reading Like a Writer
Rushdie S,Midnight Children
Sabatini R, Scaramouche
Spark M, Prime of Miss Brodie

Stendhal, Red and Black
Sterne L,Tristram Shandy
Stevenson R, Dr.Jekyll & Mr.Hyde
Stoker B, Dracula
Thackeray W,History of Pendennis
Tolstoy L, Anna Karenina
Trollope A, Autobiography
Unamuno M, Tragic Sense of Life
Voltaire, Candide
Webb J, Fields of Fire
Wharton E, The House of Mirth
Woolf V, To The Lighhouse

The secrets of 'no-doze' prose:
Mary Duffy's Sentence Openers

Lindsey Vonn after winning the Downhill World ...
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Lindsey Vonn

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