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The Pelican Brief

  by John Grisham

(about 454 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:

I’d rather be sleeping. Why, exactly, did you call?” “I may know something about Rosenberg and Jensen.” Grantham sat on the edge of the bed. “Such as—” A much longer pause. “Are you recording this?” “No. Should I?” “I don’t know. I’m really very scared and confused, Mr. Grantham. I prefer not to record this. Maybe the next call, okay?” “Whatever you want. I’m listening.” “Can this call be traced?” “Possibly, I guess. But you’re at a pay phone, right? What difference does it make?” “I don’t know. I’m just scared.” “It’s okay. I swear I’m not recording and I swear I won’t trace it. Now, what’s on your mind?” “Well, I think I may know who killed them.” Grantham was standing. “That’s some pretty valuable knowledge.” “It could get me killed. Do you think they’re following me?” “Who? Who would be following you?” “I don’t know.” The voice trailed off, as if he was looking over his shoulder. Grantham was pacing by the bed. “Relax. Why don’t you tell me your name, okay. I swear it’s confidential.” “Garcia.” “That’s not a real name, is it?” “Of course not, but it’s the best I can do.” “Okay, Garcia. Talk to me.” “I’m not certain, okay. But I think I stumbled across something at the office that I was not supposed to see.” “Do you have a copy of it?” “Maybe.” “Look, Garcia. You called me, right. Do you want to talk or not?” “I’m not sure. What will you do the red baseball cap. He fired once, and people screamed and fell to the ground. Gavin fell hard into the steps. Darby screamed and backed away in horror. Her ears were ringing from the shot, and voices were yelling and people were pointing. The man with the gun was running hard toward a row of shops and a crowd of people. A heavy man with a camera was yelling at him, and Darby watched for a second as he disappeared. Maybe she’d seen him before, but she couldn’t think now. She was yelling and couldn’t stop. “He’s got a gun!” a woman near the boat yelled, and the crowd backed away from Gavin, who was on all fours with a small pistol in his right hand. He rocked pitifully back and forth like an infant trying to crawl. Blood streamed from his chin and puddled under his face. His head hung almost to the boards. His eyes were closed. He moved forward just a few inches, his knees now in the dark red puddle. The crowd backed farther away, horrified at the sight of this wounded man fighting death. He teetered and wobbled forward again, headed nowhere but wanting to move, to live. He started yelling; loud painful moans in a language Darby did not recognize. The blood was pouring, gushing from the nose and chin. He was wailing in that unknown tongue. Two crew members from the boat hovered on the steps, watching but afraid to move. The pistol

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 2270.82 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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