How atypical a book!

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squidink

Senior Member
Venezuela, Spanish
Hi.

Can I say, "I'm surprised by how atypical a Smith book this is!"?

In other words, I've read many books written by Smith before, but this one seems completely unlike the other ones.

I could probably say, "I'm surprised by how unlike Smith's other books this one is!", but I'm interested in using the word "atypical".
 
  • Harry Batt

    Senior Member
    USA English
    I would segregate what distinguishes this book from Smith's others. Eg. The syle of writing. The difference of characters. The use of imagery. Or whatever. Then you could use atypical in a sentence such as this. Eg. "I found this book to be unlike Smith's usual prose; atypical in the manner that he presented his character.
     

    idialegre

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Hi.

    Can I say, "I'm surprised by how atypical a Smith book this is!"?
    It is certainly a correct sentence, but not the kind that just rolls off the tongue.:p I think the combination of the somewhat convoluted syntax and the rather sophisticated word "atypical" make it a sentence that one would probably have to think about for a second before uttering it. Also, Americans (I can't speak for others) would tend to say, "a book by Smith," and not "a Smith book." But again, it's a fine sentence, and not one that any old dumbbell off the street would ever come up with.

    Slightly more natural would be, for example, "This book is surprisingly atypical for Smith," or "I was surprised by this book. It's atypical for Smith."
     

    petereid

    Senior Member
    english
    The english rarely use "Atypical"
    Most likely we would use "I am surprised that this book is so different to his other books"
    or this this an exercise to use "atypical" in a sentence.
     

    cycloneviv

    Senior Member
    English - Australia
    While "atypical" is not a word that many people use on a daily basis, I would understand it and not find it unusual in an appropriate context, for example a book review in a literary magazine.

    To me, this usage seems appropriate:

    I'm surprised how atypical of Smith this book is.
     

    squidink

    Senior Member
    Venezuela, Spanish
    I think idialegre's sentence expresses exactly what I wanted to say in a much simpler and natural way! "This book is surprisingly atypical for Smith." Yup, that's it.

    I do understand that "atypical" is not the most common word to use and that petereid's sentence, "I am surprised that this book is so different to his other books," is much more casual.

    Thank you, all!
     
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