When a book does not move you at all, how well are you able to articulate a specific reason?
When the critical elements - plot, characters, dialogue, imagination, architecture - are all solid and I'm still not involved, before discussing the book with others - or blogging about it - I owe it to the author to articulate why I'm unmoved. Recently, my struggle has been teasing apart a distinction - Is the author's prose quiet or is it inert?
Although I enjoy authors who use their startling command of language to construct stunning metaphors, I have equal respect for simple unadorned writing. I love Toni Morrison and William Styron and equally adore Jim Crace and Kazuo Ishiguro. I'm reasonably sure prose need not draw attention to itself for me to be moved. But the prose does need to come alive. How to better articulate that?
Guidance, anyone? If you do respond - online or off - please give me at least one example of prose that struck you as quiet and contrast it with something that struck you as inert. I'd like to compare your experience with mine. Maybe other readers would as well.