You can hear the insistent but indefinite sound of speech penetrating the flimsy walls of a badly built tenement like an ineradicable accumulation of cooking smells.  This isn’t the only example of Hoban making a metaphor for one sense out of another; elsewhere he likens visual excess to a sickly taste.

‘Their voices rose in a thin haze like the smell of old cooking in a block of flats.’

Source: Russell Hoban, The Lion of Boaz-Jachin and Jachin-Boaz (London: Picador, 1979), p. 22

Photo credit: jdegheest at


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