Inspiration from “Back Spin”

One of my favorite authors is Harlan Coben. I read his books that feature the protagonist, Myron Bolitar, the sports agent. His prose is consistent and I love the protagonists sarcasm. I can always count on him for a chuckle in the middle of a mystery.

I know many of the books I read are dated, but I try to alternate between paying full price for a newly released book and buying from a local second hand bookstore.

Today, I finished the book, Back Spin which was first published in August of 1997. I wanted to share a few of my favorite lines from the book for inspiration. I love how he paints portraits of characters with his words, and his use of metaphors are simply brilliant.

” A dark alley. Win’s doctored bullets. Brain matter tossed about like parade confetti.” Pg. 21

“The pain on his face was so naked, Myron almost reached out and hugged him.” Pg. 44

“An elephant gun could not quiet Norman Zuckerman.” Pg. 51

“Her tone struck the marrow of his bone.” Pg.69

“Thin. Lanky. Long-limbed. Pale as a Goya portrait, even in the summer.” Pg 76

Note: As an art major in college and lover of the arts, I encourage you to check out Goya’s work courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

“Myron trudged forward. Humidity hung in the air in a heavy blanket of beads.” Pg. 84

“Sweat coated him like syrup on a stack of pancakes.” Pg. 86

“There was grass, lots of it, all the blades kept at a consistently ideal length, like a politician’s hair in an election year.” Pg. 93

On page 147, Coben compared a golf course and its seating arrangements to the class system, i.e. serfs, feudal lords. Brilliant, I say.

“Still it was yet another nagging hangnail that needed to be clipped.” Pg. 149

“Their plates were still piled high enough to cause the occasional avalanche.” Pg. 157

“In the ring, Big Cyndi wore makeup like Tammy Faye on Steroids…” Pg. 177

Chapter 20 is a wonderful break from the stressful plot that twists and turns and causes loads of questions. It involves the protagonist, Myron, his best friends and colleagues Win and Esperanza. They chat about episodes of the Odd Couple and the Twighlight Zone, while eating pizza and drinking Yoo-Hoo—well Myron’s drink of choice. It plays out like a real life situation, it’s plausible

“His heart was crumbling like brown leaves caught in a closed fist.” Pg. 193

“She ho-hummed, sounding like a diner waitress reading off the specials in the last hour of a double shift.” Pg. 230

“The woman look blasé and raised it to an art form.” Pg. 231

“Confusion set camp on her face.” Pg. 258

“The garage door came back down, slowly slicing out the sun.” Pg 265

“He slid to the floor like wet sand through a torn bag.” 267

” The power of the blow lifted Esperanza off her feet. She made an oofing noise and folded at the waist like an old wallet.”Pg. 268

“Her voice sounded like old tires on rough pavement.” Pg. 275

“His sanity was probably ripping away like divots on the course.” Pg. 336

Other Harlan Coben books that I recommend are:

  • Promise Me
  • Tell No One
  • Gone for Good
  • Hold Tight
  • Deal Breaker

Are there any authors you recommend?

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