The first UK reviews of Tom Wolfe's novel Back to Blood have started appearing, and a recurring theme is Wolfe's frenzied approach to punctuation.
The quickest of flicks through shows what has caught the critics' attention, with a proliferation of capitals throughout the novel's 700 pages. On one page it is the word "SMACK" on another, the phrase "MEAT BEAT".
Then there are the colons. Wolfe is so free with them that you wonder if he could do with a colon-ic cleanse. "::::::How could they call me that?!::::::" reads one line.
And don't get us started on the ellipses... :::::Actually, do, because they are EVERYWHERE!::::::
Elsewhere, the book reads like a paean to onomatopoetic prose (as he might excitably write). "Wee wee weeaahhhhHHH hock hock hock" is one bit of dialogue.
The word "pling" written in subscript competes with its colleague/rival "pling" in superscript.
The 81-year-old Wolfe has been known to set trends in both non-fiction and fiction. And this could help introduce the mainstream to his punctuation quirks.
::::::Be watchful, soon ALL writers might decide suddenly BANG! en masse...