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Echoes in the Darkness

  by Joseph Wambaugh

(about 543 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:

wasWhere are the bodies of Karen and Michael Reinert?” “I do not know,” said Jay Smith. “You do not know?” “I do not know.” “Where did you kill Susan Reinert?” “I did not kill Susan Reinert or her children. I had nothing to do with Susan Reinert.” “In other words, what you’re telling this jury is that they made a terrible mistake, isn’t that right?” “All my life I’ve lived in the American system. I think they’ve made their decision honestly on the basis of what they were given. We accept their judgment. They say I’m guilty; I’m guilty. You asked me if I think I really did it? I didn’t do it. I respect their judgment.” “I didn’t ask you if you think you did it. Did you do it or didn’t you?” “I said I did not.” “It’s not a thinking process. You know you didn’t do it and these people made a horrible mistake, but it’s just the American system. Is that right?” Costopoulos stood and said, “I object! He’s arguing!” “Yes,” Judge Lipsitt said. “I don’t think you should argue with him. You just ask him the questions and don’t argue the point.” “Let me ask you this,” Guida continued. “Are you telling us that you are not upset even though you’ve been unjustly convicted of three counts of murder in the first degree?” “Yeah, I’m upset,” Jay Smith said. “But I’m not the kind who falls apart. I’ve had enough military training. I can a Vince Valaitis Gothic hallucination. The sky did go black. The Rorschach test in heaven was split by shards of lightning. The thunder rattled the trees in Valley Forge and the rain cascaded down. To Vince Valaitis there was absolutely no question. God Himself was speaking. His message was something like “Okay, you little putz, you want Gothic? I’ll give you Gothic.” Vince found himself skidding, sliding, careening, through the rain, hell-bent, as it were, for destruction. Then in the midst of it all, between the jagged flashes and the torrent of black water, he saw before him a miracle: Vince had driven on automatic pilot to God’s house. He skidded to a stop in front of Mother of Divine Providence Church in King of Prussia. He jumped out of the car, but he was paralyzed. Vince Valaitis stood ankle-deep in puddles of dark water and verdant slime and watched his suit shrink. He pulled his necktie loose so he could breathe, and felt his shoes turn spongy. He forced those few sloshing steps to salvation. But there were bat shapes in the night, and a fist of iron in his belly was making him retch. And if this church had even one lousy little gargoyle on the roof, Vince knew he’d bolt and run screaming in front of a truck if he could find one. He rang the bell at the rectory and waited with the blades of rain slashing his face, hearing those terrifying Latin chants growing fainter

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 2715.68 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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