In the book Angel and Demons, Dan Brown says under chapter 3:

The camber was dark. Medieval. Stone.

To me it looks like a very telegraphic kind of describing a space, which is very different than some older styles of writing where they describe a place in as much as a paragraph! Now, I'm thinking that since "dark" is an adjective, he could use those 2 other subsequent words as adjectives too, and wrote:

The chamber was dark, medieval, stony.

And it would have made more sense to me as a non-native speaker. I'm also thinking why it is better to write like he'd written, mixing noun and adjective forms. Is it ok in writing, to shorten as much as he had done ? and say "Stone." instead of saying "the chamber was made of stone."

  • Dan Brown's writing is sometimes dreadful. (Eg. “Pandora is out of her box.”) You should find much to query in his books! – Old Brixtonian Nov 28 '20 at 7:58
  • Are there any ellipsis in the writing? How does the title of the question relate to the body of the question? – jwpfox Nov 28 '20 at 8:22

He is trying to evoke the feelings of the narrator, and in doing so is ignoring the sort of grammar that you would use to write a business letter (for example).

He wants to suggest that there were three separate impressions that the narrator had: The narrator gets an experience of "Stone". I suppose you could say "... It was dark. It was stone." But this reduces the drama of the situation. We don't think in well formed grammatical sentences!

This is correct and common, if the context is right:

What was the chamber made of?


There is no need to reply in a full sentence in this context.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.