Also, as neologisms go, “irono-babe” is about as inviting as Infobahn. (And why the hyphen? The first step in coining any noun is to present it without a grammatical eyesore.)
How can Schlesinger be an omnivore “and a carnivore?” An omnivore eats both plants and animals. Since this little contradictory morsel was inserted via a hyphenated clause, could it be that the copy desk doesn’t know the difference between a herbivore, a carnivore, and an omnivore?
If a dead man “has been close to all” four men throughout Graham Swift’s Last Orders, must we conclude that these four men have been lingering close to the dead man’s ashes throughout the novel? Or is proper past tense not part of NYTBR house style?
Likewise: “In telling her story in a nighttime whisper, Paula reveals facets of herself and her experience the reader might otherwise never glean.” Conjunction junction, what’s your function?
If a shape is a visual form, how does it snap back? Aren’t shapes silent? Also, if time “warps at the edges and then stops altogether,” is time a temporal or a visual noun here? Make up your mind.
Also: “Together, this seemingly ordinary couple became the poles of Hampl’s existence, opposing magnetic forces that held their conflicted daughter firmly between them.” Aside from the messy syntax here, this sentence could be easily read the wrong way. If Hampl’s parents are opposing magnetic forces, would they not repel their daughter?
You “want” this and you “want” that, Mr. Taylor. Good Christ, you sound like a spoiled teenager who demands a Porsche on his sixteenth birthday. Criticism isn’t about wanting. It’s about interpreting and understanding.