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The Ambler Warning

  by Robert Ludlum

(about 593 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:

One was that the meeting had been compromised-that mutual enemies had learned of it and were organizing an interception. The second-and Ambler had to admit, the more likely-possibility was that the rendezvous had been a setup from the beginning. Had Fenton been lying to him all along? Contemplating the prospect was a grievous blow to Ambler’s sense of himself, but he could not rule out the possibility. Perhaps Fenton was a spectacular actor-the sort of Method actor who had disciplined himself to experience the very emotions he displayed. Ambler’s powers of affective perception may have been, as a life’s experience suggested, unusual and uncanny; he had no illusions that they were infallible. He was not incapable of being fooled. Perhaps, though, Fenton himself had been misinformed. That seemed a likelier prospect. It would have been vastly easier to lie to Fenton than it would have been to lie to him. Whatever the circumstances were, Ambler knew that an immediate retreat was the only safe move. It pained him: Any member of the team that had been mobilized here might know something that Ambler needed to know. Every enemy was a potential source. Yet knowledge could do him no good if he was dead. He had, at least, to accept that truth. Ambler quickened his stride and took an immediate right; it would lead him to the Pere-Lachaise metro station. Now, on the straight, cobbled pathway, he strode even faster, like a businessman who had realized he was going to be manner consistent with its 1920s construction-much fine French furniture of giltwood and damask; walls upholstered with shot silk-but its true glory was its flower-decked terrace, with its view of the calm waters of Discovery Bay. Especially now, as the waters shimmered with the rosy sun of the early evening. On one end of the terrace, two diners sat at a table, its white linen cloth covered with a dozen dishes, rare delicacies prepared by expert hands. As the aromas mingled in the faint breeze, a silver-haired American with a prominent forehead inhaled and reflected that in previous centuries such a banquet would be available to few outside China’s royal courts. Ashton Palmer sampled a dish made from hatchlings of the mountain bulbul; the bones of the tiny songbird were as undeveloped as those of a sardine, providing only a pleasing texture. As with the ortolan dish perfected by Escoffier-another tiny songbird, which French gourmands knew to hold by the beak and eat whole, behind a napkin-one ate the bulbul hatchling in a single bite, crunching on its near-embryonic bones, relishing the slight resistance as one did the yielding exoskeleton of a soft-shelled crab. It was a dish whose Mandarin name was chao niao ge -literally, stir-fried birdsong. “Extraordinary, don’t you agree,” Palmer said to his only dining companion, a Chinese man with broad, weathered features and hard, gimlet eyes. The man, a longtime general of the People’s Liberation Army, smiled, his leathery skin forming grooved striations from cheek to mouth

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 2966.56 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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