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The Janson Directive

  by Robert Ludlum


(about 814 pages)
203,460
total words
of all the books in our library
48.06%
vividness
of all the books in our library
8.17%
passive voice
of all the books in our library
3.18%
all adverbs
of all the books in our library
1.33%
ly-adverbs
of all the books in our library
1.84%
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
I’m doing.” “So do I. You’re talking about putting your head in the lion’s mouth. Don’t you know how crazy that is?” “I’ve got no choice,” Janson said. Heavily, she said, “When do we leave?” “There’s no ‘we.’ I’m going by myself.” “You don’t think I’m good enough?” “You know that’s not what I’m talking about,” Janson said. “Are you looking for validation? You’re good, Jessie. Top-drawer. Is that what you need to hear? Well, it’s true. You’re smart as a whip, you’re fast on your feet, you’re adaptable and levelheaded, and you’re probably the best marksman I’ve come across. The point remains: what I’ve got to do next, I’ve got to do alone. You can’t come along. It’s not a risk you need to take.” “It’s not a risk you need to take. You’re going into the lion’s den without so much as a chair and a whip.” “Trust me, it’ll be a walk in the park,” Janson said with a trace of a smile. “Tell me you’re not still sore about London. Because …” “Jessie, I really need you to reconnoiter the Liberty Foundation offices in Amsterdam. I’ll rejoin you there shortly. We can’t ignore the possibility that something, or somebody, might turn up there. As far as Derek Collins, though, I can take care of myself. It’s going to be OK.” “What I’m thinking is, you’re scared of putting me at risk,” Jessie said. “I’d call that a lapse of professionalism, wouldn’t you?” “You don’t know what you’re villages where VC sympathizers might make all his struggles for naught. And forcing himself through an especially dense intertwining of vines and trees one morning, where he happened upon a vast oval of burn. The smells told him what had happened—not so much the mingled smells of fish sauce, cooking fires, the fertilizing excrement of humans and water buffalo and chickens as something that overpowered even those smells: the tangy petrochemical odor of napalm. The air was heavy with it. And everywhere was ash, and soot, and the lumpy remains of a fast-burning chemical fire. He trudged through the burned-out oval and his feet became black with charcoal. It was as if God had held a giant magnifying glass over this spot and burned it with the sun’s own rays. And when he adjusted to the napalm fumes, another smell caught his nostrils, that of charred human flesh. When it cooled it would be food for birds and vermin and insects. It had not yet cooled. From the caved-in, blackened wrecks he could see that there had once been twelve thatch-covered houses in a clearing here. And just outside the hamlet, miraculously untouched by the flames, was a cooking shack framed with coconut leaves, and a meal that had been freshly prepared, no more than thirty minutes earlier. A heap of rice. A stew of prawns and glass noodles. Bananas that had been sliced, fried, and curried. A bowl of peeled litchi and durian fruit. Not an ordinary meal

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 4069.20 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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