The Gone-Away World – Nick Harkaway

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“We’ve gotta go down there and put that fucker out, blow it out, uh, like a fucking candle, otherwise . . .” At which point he trailed his voice and let the breath flow out of him and he paused to let us construct our own metaphor for catastrophe. And that right there is what you call a rhetorical ellipsis, the cheapest device in oratory and one of the hardest to do well. An ellipsis is like a haymaker punch you throw with your mouth, and the only tricks more low rent than that are making fun of your opponent’s ugly puss and bringing up something by saying you won’t mention it. We all stared at him for a minute, and he went sort of pinkish and closed his mouth.

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