The book titled “The Swimmer” authored by Joakim Zander contains a fictitious story that is full of unexpected tunes and twists in a world of questionable bonds and shifting allegiances. The story mainly revolves around the experiences of a spy whose name is not given and her daughter called Klara. Remarkably, Zander uses a writing style that is complex in the story. Although the vocabulary, word choices and sentence structures used in the story help to create mental pictures of experiences and scenes in the mind of the reader, the writing style has several weaknesses.
A remarkable aspect of Zander’s writing style is that he seems to ponder over every sentence, word and phrase. He uses specific words with the aim of creating specific pictures in the minds of the reader. When the narrator is describing how the car is responding after turning the key but the sparkplugs are not working, he writes Aaaaannnnnananananananan to describe the sound that is being produced (Zander 6). The phrases such as “Whisper to myself. ‘No, no, no…’” (Zander 6) enable the reader to relate with the narrator’s experience. As Rollins (17) explained, using such words to describe contexts and experiences helps to enhance the ability of the reader to relate to the story. In “The Swimmer”, such words enable Zander to create pictures of deceit, pain, anger and conflict in the minds of the readers.
One of the notable strengths of Zander’s writing style is that he uses strong vocabulary that enables him to develop characters, describe settings and create tension. When, for instance, the narrator is describing the explosion that emerged when his car got an accident, he says, “The explosion isn’t muffled, not muted by the heat’ (Zander 7). He uses the word “front-runners” to describe mysterious fathers. He describes Muhamoud, Klara and Georgeb as “moody.” When describing the corrupt individuals that swirl around the majors, he regards them as “dark characters.” The vocabulary enables Zander to use imagery. As Beck (15) explained, using imagery helps to create pictures in the minds of the reader. Consequently, they enhance the reader’s engagement with the story.
The main weakness in Zander’s writing style is that the story has a bumpy flow. At times, he leaves the reader to scratch thinking what he means. When describing his car’s explosion, for instance, the narrator does directly say what has caused it. Instead, the narrator just says the explosion makes him fall on the floor of the balcony (Zander 7). Also, strong word usage in the story is likely to make it difficult for the reader to understand it. As Beck (15) explained, using strong vocabulary can make a story less attractive to the reader. When the readers feel that there are many words they do not understand, they may not continue reading a story even if it is interesting. Last, the story confuses the reader especially in the beginning since it has unexpected shifts between 1980s and 21st century.
Overall, Zander adopts a writing style that enhances engagement of the reader to the story in “the Swimmer.” The strength of his writing style is based on the word choices and phrases sentence structures. However, the weaknesses of his writing style mentioned earlier are likely to alienate the reader
Beck, Isabel L., Margaret G. McKeown and Linda Kucan. Creating Robust Vocabulary:
Frequently Asked Questions and Extended Examples. Guilford Publications, 2008. Print.
Rollins, Brenda. Reading Comprehension. Classroom Complete Press, 2009. Print.
Zander, Joakim. The Swimmer. Head of Zeus, 2014.