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Perestroika in Paris

  by Jane Smiley


(about 282 pages)
70,604
total words
of all the books in our library
60.44%
vividness
of all the books in our library
7.99%
passive voice
of all the books in our library
3.37%
all adverbs
of all the books in our library
0.86%
ly-adverbs
of all the books in our library
2.51%
non-ly-adverbs
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:

MOST PASSIVE PAGE
MOST VIVID PAGE
ears. Then she said, “What is ‘Paris’?” “It’s where we are. This city. Don’t you know anything?” Paras said, “I told you. I’m only a filly. I won’t be a mare until January first. Then I’ll know lots more things. How old are you?” Frida didn’t answer. She didn’t know. For a moment, Frida thought that, in spite of the money and the purse, the horse wasn’t her concern. She could go back to her little cubbyhole up in the cemetery and pretend that she hadn’t seen Paras and that her life was the same as always. But then she thought that, if her life was the same as always, she didn’t quite know what she was going to do. Just talking to Paras had been a change for her—even the dogs who didn’t bark at her, when they looked at her face, then looked for her collar and leash, and saw that she had neither, simply looked away. Frida sighed. Sometimes the thing that you wanted to do did make you sigh, just because it was a hard thing to do. It was not a pleasant day now. It had started out sunny, but the clouds were scudding in and the wind was picking up. Frida did not smell rain in the wind, but the leaves that hadn’t been cleaned from the streets were lifting around them. Paras noticed, too. Frida said, “Are you tired?” “I am,” said Paras. “I had a hard race yesterday, and I was light fell onto the pavement. And a scent billowed out. Paras was drawn to the scent. She stepped closer. Anaïs sensed that she was being watched. She glanced up and saw nothing but the darkness of the big windows that looked out onto the Avenue de Suffren. She had set her baking pans on the tables in the shop, and would carry them into the cuisine when they were ready. She shook off the feeling and went back to forming her rolls, her favorite part of baking. She had already baked the baguettes and the larger loaves. The croissants and petits pains au chocolat were in the ovens. Henri would arrive soon for the tartes and the galettes. But Anaïs was trying something—a roll with a hint of sweetness, cut into diamond shapes and dotted with fennel seed, then baked until the fennel seed turned crisp and golden. She heard a noise and looked up again. A horse’s head shone in the window, nostrils flared, ears pricked. Anaïs nearly jumped out of her skin. The two pans rattled as she bumped them. She exhaled, “Ahh!” The horse’s head turned to one side and then turned back, still staring. Anaïs coughed. Then she pulled herself together, wiped her hands on her apron, and went over to the coffeemaker. She picked up two lumps of sugar and went to the door, which she opened carefully. The horse stood still for a moment, then approached her. It took one lump of sugar

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 1412.08 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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other books by Jane Smiley

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