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Spies in the Family

  by Eva Dillon

(about 321 pages)
total words
of all the books in our library
of all the books in our library
passive voice
of all the books in our library
all adverbs
of all the books in our library
of all the books in our library
of all the books in our library

clippings from this book

We’ve analyzed hundreds of millions of words, from thousands of different authors, training our linguistic models to recognize the most vivid words in the English language… the words that create the most intense sensory experiences: colors, textures, sounds, flavors, and aromas.

Based on our analysis, we’ve scanned through the pages of this book to find the two pages at the extremes, both the most-passive and the most-vivid pages, so that you can compare them side-by-side and see the difference:

had not cleared the dead drop, it could mean that the ever-suspicious KGB watchdogs had found Polyakov’s message. Polyakov had checked carefully for surveillance before he made the drop and hadn’t seen any, but they still might have been following him. Perhaps the KGB was waiting to see who might come to check the site, the spy who filled it (him) or a CIA case officer coming to clear it. There was another possible explanation. He wondered if the Americans could have been so careless as to simply miss his signal that the drop had been loaded. Bad tradecraft, but a possibility nonetheless. He didn’t yet have enough experience with the American spymasters to judge their skills. Polyakov was a master of controlling his emotions, so his family didn’t detect any special signs of stress. Neither did his demeanor arouse any suspicions in the Aquarium. But he must have been in considerable inner turmoil. “It can only be suggested,” said Special Agent Moody, “as to the thoughts which took place in his mind during this period.” Had Polyakov known why the dead drop wasn’t serviced, he would have been not just astonished but also angry. James Angleton had never abandoned his conviction that Polyakov was a plant. Given the level and quality of intelligence Polyakov had provided, Angleton’s judgment was no longer simply improbable; it was absurd. Yet, lost in his wilderness of mirrors, Angleton wasn’t operating on the basis of reason: Polyakov could have signaled that the drop had simple two-story, four-bedroom brick house in the 1940s on the banks of a beautiful salt marsh that stretched for miles along the Vernon River, in a community called White Bluff. The dirt road leading to the house wound under a dense assemblage of live oak trees, lush with low-hanging Spanish moss. Grandmother always had cold watermelon and chilled boiled peanuts ready when we arrived. We’d swim off the dock in the creek when the tide was high and slog through the fragrant pluff mud when it was low. We’d set traps to catch crabs by the dozens, and bring them to the kitchen door in a big tin tub, screaming in mock horror as Grandmother dropped them alive into a huge cookpot of boiling water. Dad would drive us all out to the beach on Tybee Island for the day, or we’d spend the afternoons reading on the dock, drinking iced tea that Grandmother always brewed fresh. With the stop in Savannah, and visits to Mom’s sister and brother in Memphis and Texas, it took us three weeks to get to Mexico. Our new house was a Colonial-style, cream-colored stucco castle—at least, it seemed like a castle to us kids—in the upscale neighborhood of Polanco. The windows, doors, and balconies were handsomely decorated with detailed wrought iron, and stone and hand-painted tiles covered the floors and staircase. An interior balcony from our parents’ bedroom looked over a huge two-story entrance hall, with a banister sweeping down the staircase

emotional story arc

Click anywhere on the chart to see the most significant emotional words — both positive & negative — from the corresponding section of the text…
This chart visualizes the the shifting emotional balance for the arc of this story, based on the emotional strength of the words in the prose, using techniques pioneered by the UVM Computational Story Lab. To create this story arc, we divided the complete manuscript text into 50 equal-sized chunks, each with 1602.96 words, and then we scored each section by counting the number of strongly-emotional words, both positive and negative. The bars in the chart move downward whenever there’s conflict and sadness, and they move upward when conflicts are resolved, or when the characters are happy and content. The size of each bar represents the positive or negative word-count of that section.

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