The Piercing, Adverbial use of gimlet


“I tried to tell myself instead that I was fortunate in my neglect; that now I needed have no fear that he would arrive and his gimlet eye start to anatomize the cushions, or the curtains, or the state of the fireplace; that now, at last, my life was my own.”

 Gaynor ArnoldGirl in a Blue Dress, a fictionalized take on the tumultuous marriage of Charles and Catherine Dickens.  Longlisted for the 2008 Man Booker Prize.

“And sometime after midnight, he slept, too, and then only the wind was awake, prying at the hotel and hooting in its gables under the bright gimlet gaze of the stars.” ― Stephen King, The Shining

But not this (n.):

“It is well-known that there are many faces in the world over the finishing of which nature did not take much trouble, did not employ any fine tools such as files, gimlets, and so on, but simply hacked them out with round strokes: one chop-a nose appears; another chop-lips appear; eyes are scooped out with a big drill; and she lets it go into the world rough-hewn, saing: “ALIVE!”

 Nikolai Gogol, Dead Souls

“And then there were her eyes. Two grey gimlets. They had a gaze that could strip wallpaper. They made you think that she could look deeply into your eyes and read the manufacturer’s label on the inside of your skull.”  ― Tony Rattigan, Hair of the Dog





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