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Against the Day

  by Thomas Pynchon


(about 1,767 pages)
441,652
total words
of all the books in our library
48.38%
vividness
of all the books in our library
6.91%
passive voice
of all the books in our library
3.44%
all adverbs
of all the books in our library
1.28%
ly-adverbs
of all the books in our library
2.16%
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
the boom do it for you. Must happen all the time out on that Sound.” “Not my style,” ‘Fax blushed, so taken aback that Kit calculated he’d got the seed planted, all right. “Maybe if you were more of a son of a bitch…” “Then it’d be me putting you over the side, wouldn’t it?” “Well, one of us should be just a little meaner, ‘stead of us both being unhappy like this.” “Who, me? I’m as happy as a Long Island steamer clam, what’re you talking about?” “You’re not, Kit. They know you’re not.” “Here I thought I was bein a real Sunny Jim.” Fax waited, but not long, before looking him in the eye. “I’ve been keeping them posted, you see.” “About…” “You. What you’re up to, how you’re feeling, they’ve been getting pretty regular reports, all along.” “From you.” “From me.” Neither surprised nor hurt but letting ‘Fax think he might be, “Well… I thought we were pardners, ‘Fax.” “Didn’t say it was pleasant for me.” “Hmmm…” “You’re angry.” “No. No, I’m thinking… Now, let’s say you were to tell them I got lost in that storm yesterday—” “They wouldn’t believe it.” “They’d keep looking?” “You’d have to hide darned well, Kit. The City, maybe it looks easy to you, but it isn’t. Sooner or later you find you’re trusting people you shouldn’t, some who could even turn out to be on Father’s payroll.” “What ‘n hell do you suggest, then?” “What I do. Pretend. You’ve been It was all home. He wandered now beneath the sycamores, through the cooking smoke, attending calmly to each mid-American face, shrugging on like some old cardigan a nostalgia not his own but in some murky way of use to him. They’d be drinking birch beer and orange juice, eating stuffed peppers they liked to callmangoes,” casseroles of baked beans or macaroni and rat cheese, pineapple upside-down cakes, bread just out of ovens at home and covered in checkered towels. Out here at the Grove, they’d be cooking franks, hamburgers, steaks, and sides of beef over wood fires, slopping on barbecue sauce from time to time, tapping beer kegs, playing horseshoes, shouting at their kids, at each other, at nobody, just to be shouting, particularly if it wasn’t raining, which it never seemed to be, and that was one of the big differences for them, no thunder, no cyclones, no hail or snow, the house roofs of Southern California all pitched at shallow angles because there was nothing to shed… Lew found Merle discussing potato-salad recipes with a bunch of Iowans. “Gettin up early is built into it, you need to have ’em cooked and marinating in oil, vinegar, and mustard for at least three or four hours before you even start thinkin about mayonnaise and spices and all that,” whereas other philosophies held add-ins like bacon and celery to be of the essence, or sour cream preferable to mayonnaise, and by now it had turned into quite the lively

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 8833.04 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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