Saturday, May 16, 2009

Alan presents ... 69 Modern Classics Condensed via Amazon’s SIPs™ (Statistically Improbable Phrases)

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According to Amazon:

Amazon.com's Statistically Improbable Phrases, or “SIPs”, are the most distinctive phrases in the text of books in the Search Inside!™ program. To identify SIPs, our computers scan the text of all books in the Search Inside! program. If they find a phrase that occurs a large number of times in a particular book relative to all Search Inside! books, that phrase is an SIP in that book.

SIPs are not necessarily improbable within a particular book, but they are improbable relative to all books in Search Inside!. For example, most SIPs for a book on taxes are tax related. But because we display SIPs in order of their improbability score, the first SIPs will be on tax topics that this book mentions more often than other tax books. For works of fiction, SIPs tend to be distinctive word combinations that often hint at important plot elements.


What Amazon doesn’t tell you is that, in the case of fiction, their SIP feature does not merely “hint at important plot elements” but MAGICALLY DISTILS THE ESSENCE OF THE WORK. They don’t tell you that because, obviously, if they did, why would anyone bother to order a novel or short-story collection after reading its SIPs?

To show you what I mean, I have compiled the SIPs for 69 works of twentieth-century fiction. Nearly all the works I’ve chosen would qualify as “modern classics,” and they include a number that are of special interest to readers of this blog. You’ll be surprised at how many you can recognize, though there’s an answer key at the bottom if you need it.

If there are any books here that you haven’t read before, you can go ahead and cross them off your list. Trust me, this is all you need to read.

—Alan

(visit my blog, The Purest of Treats)


1.

medical attaché, annular fusion, entertainment cartridge, improbably deformed, howling fantods, feral hamsters, dawn drills, tough nun, professional conversationalist, new bong, ceiling bulged, metro boston, tennis academy, red leather coat, soupe aux pois, red beanie, addicted man, magnetic video, littler kids, little rotter, technical interview, police lock, oral narcotics, sober time, veiled girl


2.

advertised phone number, snuff video, previous reviewers, cute face


3.

wanta screw, cock flipped, rectal mucus, disk mouth, distant fingers, dawn smell, blue silence, como perros, sex rooms, carbolic soap, como eso, green boys, tide flats, penny arcades


4.

mother cell, old gash, old junky


5.

grey hen, sick leg, four pounds ten, real silence, sixteen stones


6.

entomological allusions, cryptogrammic paper chase, enchanted hunters, moral apotheosis, verbal figurations, perilous magic, durable pigments, corrected misprint, gray star, glass lake


7.

enchanted hunters


8.

matrimonial gift, quaker librarian, charming soubrette, editor cried, retrospective arrangement, pike hoses, pensive bosom, seaside girls, absentminded beggar


9.

wather parted


10.

muted post horn


11.

inner party, three superstates, chinless man, chocolate ration, varicose ulcer


12.

red hunting hat, tiny little kid


13.

hands for the conch


14.

leaden circles, solitary traveller


15.

cultured gestures, pleural shock, little extra therapy, dining attendants, placet experiri, sine pecunia, ragged lips, informal pronouns, wild departure, baptismal bowl, classic gifts, good engineer, light favorites, rest cure, moist spot, purple cheeks, checked trousers, ivory complexion, silent sister, fever chart, social rooms, world republic, nightstand lamp


16.

ostensible acquittal, definite acquittal, pettifogging lawyers, man from the country, first plea, accused men, prosecuting counsel


17.

laughing aristocrats, bad zombies, black pear tree, emerald dust, falling dog, personal worthlessness, captured woman, damned birds, naked models, flee from the wrath


18.

Los Angeles, Captain Blood, New York, Tolstoy Museum, Louis Escher, Hotel Terminus, Engineer-Private Klee, Paul Klee, Richard Widmark, Errol Flynn, Old Testament, Shock Art, Chivas Regal, Count Leo Tolstoy, Fighter Squadron Five, Holy Ghost, Madam Olympia, The Interpretation of Dreams


19.

pink hawthorn, little nucleus, little clan, little phrase


20.

two buttocks, old libertine, lovely ass


21.

duffle coat pocket, landing slip, big lighthouse, sheltered angle, vertical embankment, old country woman, uneven cobbles, table wedged, cardboard strip, memorandum book, window recess


22.

moratorium owner, conapt building, kidney balm, consultation lounge, precog ability, empathy box, prudence organization, mood organ, many inertials, poop sheet, parked ship, harness bull, laser tube, false animal, psi field, brain unit, roof field, tomb world


23.

red drum, railroad gloves, railroad earth, lonesome traveler, nylon poncho, golden eternity, back scat


24.

independent dependent kind, dependent independent kind, one being living, servant queerness, independent dependent being, ten acre place, rich right american living, being ones being living, having stupid being, independent dependent nature, servant girl nature, loving repeating, poor queer people, having such angry feeling, being important inside, beginning middle living, mostly every one, country living feeling, one being fighting, completely little one, right rich being, fierce little temper, ones being thinking, dependent independent nature, dependent independent being


25.

sale cerveau, beautiful room with bath, fout ici, nearest cinema, hundred francs


26.

tall black circles, watching jewel, dont reckon, aint right, aint nothing, prescription case


27.

fractured windshield, airline coach, scarred mouth, instrument binnacle, windshield pillar, instrument dials, wheel housing, screen actress, radiator grilles, slip road


28.

behavioral sociologist, hostess bars, sex tourism


29.

snapper pizza, little hardbody, wool tuxedo, patterned silk tie, drink tickets, striped cotton shirt, dry beer, broadcloth shirt, pocket square, pleated trousers


30.

cool pants, chain artist, hitting women


31.

bun compartment, nucular bum, exercising board, cabinet under the bar, kickoff rally, young man sighed, front shutters, looseleaf folder, fat mother


32.

artificial extended families, new middle name, flying fuck


33.

carrie carrie carrie, town whistle, pig blood


34.

religious white men, white religious men, dildo thrust, male creep, fake brother, evil enchanters, cunt lips


35.

bloated colonel, tighter bomb pattern, intelligence tent, more combat missions, sei pazzo, sixty missions, seventy missions, illegal tobacco, railroad ditch, bomb line, forty missions, flak suit, group chaplain, lead bombardier, fifty missions, medical tent


36.

cyclone shot, apish man, head sidewise


37.

purring voice, little revolver


38.

plait round, plaited cord, extra button


39.

vivir sin amar, walnut grower, absolutamente necesario, old bean, first policeman


40.

smut gig, cop beaters, smut job, stag books, whore book, smut books, justice jail, purple car, young stuff, lab man, months suspension, trial board


41.

central booking, foxy brunette, hock hock hock hock, hack hack hack hack hack, girl with brown lipstick, social grin, bond trading room, circus arrest, haw haw haw haw haw, ordinary arrest, whaddaya whaddaya, entry gallery, plastic speaker, oak pedestal table, elevator vestibule


42.

malenky bit, real skorry, old baboochkas, old ptitsa, real bezoomny, starry ptitsa, kashl kashl kashl, old moloko, horrorshow smeck, real gromky, starry veck, red red krovvy, other veshches, oddy knocky, writer veck, young ptitsas, old veck, horrorshow groodies, real horrorshow, public biblio, top millicent, milky chai, prison charlie,

young swine


43.

shock shop, seclusion room, least black boy, bull goose loony, big black boys, wicker bag, ward policy, tub room, drug room, red capsules, dorm door, two black boys


44.

American Dream, Psychiatrist's Club, Mint Hotel, North Vegas, New York, Jesus Christ, Great Red Shark, Boulder City, Carson City, Desert Inn, Vincent Black Shadow, Horatio Alger, White Rabbit, San Francisco, Death Valley, Los Angeles, Barbra Streisand, Savage Henry, Main Street, Tim Leary, Coupe de Ville, White Whale


45.

great butler, distinguished household, staff plan, back corridor


46.

rich cunt, fifteen francs


47.

kif paste, much kif, delicate prey, smoking kif, lotus pods, circular valley


48.

black mahn, white mahn, ole lady, leg chain, tank room


49.

dees girl, pie wagon, accident policy, hell cat


50.

lit conductor, lit uniform, scarlet kimono, womanish voice, quarter past one, own compartment, communicating door, small dark man, restaurant car


51.

little china figures, judge stroked, judge nodded


52.

leather bracelets


53.

tormented writer, productive writer, gathering shadow


54.

gray caviare, heroin life, love under will, magical diary, adore thee, magic room, taking heroin


55.

uncivil teacher, circular ruins, blue tigers


56.

bearded bloke, scarlet tights, rummy thing, bally thing, mess jacket, nasty jar, second footman, purple socks, dear old chap


57.

black pickpocket, baize bag


58.

pitchpine table, rediffusion set, wild tannia, morris suite, laden hampers, exhibition examination, coal barrel, saman tree, stomach powder, back verandah, soft candle, bicycle clips, younger god, back trace, elder god, front verandah, stale cakes, tonka beans


59.

coloured fellow, jack ladder, coloured boy, coloured folks, copper shop, grey boy, coloured workers


60.

whiskey joint, short black man, funny boy


61.

handicraft instructor, inchoate eyes


62.

madness most discreet, golden dove


63.

dowager empress, silk cultivation


64.

stillsuit manufacturer, panoplia propheticus, gom jabbar, inkvine scar, ducal signet, factory crawler, poison snooper, voice from the outer world, stillsuit hood, weirding way, dew collectors, diamond tattoo, little makers, maker hooks, message cylinder, water flagon, funeral plain, death commandos, spice liquor, palm lock, prison planet, shield belt, terrible purpose, demanding memory


65.

barn cellar, famous pig, grey spider, old sheep, egg sac


66.

golden ticket, chocolate river


67.

ole chappie, killing beds, fertilizer mill, pickle rooms, chilling rooms


68.

brown bureau, redheaded fellow, little revolver, perfect murder


69.

little mole



BONUS:

Can you identify these two novels from the results of Amazon’s concordance feature, listing their “100 most frequently used words”?


1.

again alone always among another asked away bankes book cam came children come day down even eyes father feeling felt go going great hand head herself himself house husband itself james knew last let life light lighthouse liked lily little long look looked looking man men might mind minta moment mrs must night nothing now old once own paul people perhaps picture ramsay room rose round sat saw say saying sea see seemed should sitting something still stood table tansley things think thinking thought time together took turned upon wanted waves went window without woman words world years yes yet


2.

acid alex anything anyway ass away bed body boy chris come cool cute david door down drew dwarf even eyes face feel felt few first friends fuck fucked fucking get go going goof got guess guy hand hard head idea kid kind know least let life little long look looked love luke makes man mason maybe mean minutes now oh okay pam people place point porn really right room say scott second see seem sex shit should smear sniffles something sort sounds still sure take tell thing think thinking thought time turned two voice want weird whatever words world yeah








KEY:


1. Infinite Jest, David Foster Wallace

2.
The Sluts, Dennis Cooper

3.
The Soft Machine, William S. Burroughs

4.
Naked Lunch, William S. Burroughs

5.
Molly, Malone Dies, and The Unnamable by Samuel Beckett

6.
The Annotated Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov and Alfred Appel, Jr. (ed.)

7.
Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov

8.
Ulysses, James Joyce

9.
Finnegans Wake, James Joyce

10.
The Crying of Lot 49, Thomas Pynchon

11.
1984, George Orwell

12.
The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger

13.
Lord of the Flies, William Golding

14.
Mrs Dalloway, Virginia Woolf

15.
The Magic Mountain, Thomas Mann

16.
The Trial, Franz Kafka

17.
60 Stories, Donald Barthelme

18.
40 Stories, Donald Barthelme

19.
Swann's Way, Marcel Proust

20.
120 Days of Sodom, Marquis de Sade

21.
The Voyeur, Alain Robbe-Grillet

22.
Four Novels of the 60s: The Man in the High Castle / The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch / Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? / Ubik by Philip K. Dick

23.
Road Novels 1957-1960: On the Road / The Dharma Bums / The Subterraneans / Tristessa / Lonesome Traveler / Journal Selections by Jack Kerouac

24.
The Making of the Americans, Gertrude Stein

25.
Good Morning, Midnight, Jean Rhys

26.
As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner

27.
Crash, J.G. Ballard

28.
Platform, Michel Houellebecq

29.
American Psycho, Bret Easton Ellis

30.
Money, Martin Amis

31.
A Confederacy of Dunces, John Kennedy Toole

32.
Slapstick, Kurt Vonnegut

33.
Carrie, Stephen King

34.
Don Quixote, Kathy Acker

35.
Catch-22, Joseph Heller

36.
Collected Novels, Dashiell Hammett

37.
The Big Sleep, Raymond Chandler

38.
Exercises in Style, Raymond Queneau

39.
Under the Volcano, Malcolm Lowry

40.
L.A. Confidential, James Ellroy

41.
The Bonfire of the Vanities, Tom Wolfe

42.
Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess

43.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Ken Kesey

44.
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Hunter Thompson

45.
The Remains of the Day, Kazuo Ishiguro

46.
Tropic of Cancer, Henry Miller

47.
Collected Stories, Paul Bowles

48.
Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison

49.
The Postman Always Rings Twice, Double Indemnity, and Mildred Pierce by James M. Cain

50.
Murder on the Orient Express, Agatha Christie

51.
And Then There Were None, Agatha Christie

52.
The Story of O, Pauline Réage

53.
If on a Winter's Night a Traveler, Italo Calvino

54.
Diary of a Drug Fiend, Aleister Crowley

55.
Collected Fictions, Jorge Luis Borges

56.
Right Ho, Jeeves; The Inimitable Jeeves; and Very Good, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse

57.
Mr. Sammler’s Planet, Saul Bellow

58.
A House for Mr. Biswas, V.S. Naipal

59.
If He Hollers Let Him Go, Chester Himes

60.
The Third Generation, Chester Himes

61.
Women in Love, D.H. Lawrence

62.
Vertigo, W.G. Sebald

63.
Rings of Saturn, W.G. Sebald

64.
Dune, Frank Herbert

65.
Charlotte’s Web, E.B. White

66.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl

67.
The Jungle, Upton Sinclair

68.
Strangers on a Train, Patricia Highsmith

69.
Delta of Venus, Anaïs Nin


BONUS:

1.
To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf

2.
Guide, Dennis Cooper
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6 comments:

Esther Planas said...

Dear Dennis,
Been missing you
This days are total
chaos and some fun
sex but just once
with one
and and once with the other
but days sleeping and tired
reading Jon Savage book about
Teenager and posting at my blog
a few thoughts..
That inmediately got slag of
by a catalan man i don't know
who says i write bad and with
lots of faults and that he had been
recommended there and just found
bullshit self wanking!
Great!
My compu is very slow
and some times when trying
to cath up with your blog
it gets stuck..and its a pain!
I loved the various previous post!
The russian boy with this things hanging from his ears look like
Peter Pan!
I love the idea of this last blog!
finding words and conections!
But this is for high duper mental
ability that a dixlexic like me
will find very difficult!
I am going to try to come for the
mid June times..
will you be in Paris then??
Oh Dennis i am trapped here!

Mark P said...

Great post! Was a fun game trying to guess the titles and then checking to see how I did.

Bart said...

Hmm... when I put my mouse over the text (in Firefox and Safari) the whole left column becomes orange with an underline. After "visit my blog" you have a closing A tag and then an opening A tag with nothing in it.

You should put a DIV with title="name of book" around each book's SIPs so someone can rollover the paragraph to see what book it is instead of having to scroll down to the key.

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