impaled on a gearshift lever

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jacdac

Senior Member
Lebanese
Paul had been convinced Gary’s reaction had been more than false; he thought it had been pretentiously arty. In short, a pose. He continued to feel this way until 1983, when he read The World According to Garp. He made the mistake of reading the scene where Garp’s younger son dies, impaled on a gearshift lever, shortly before bed.
Source: Misery by Stephen King

How can one be impaled on a gearshift lever? What am I missing? misinterpreting?

Gloss:
if you impale yourself on something, or are impaled on it, you have a sharp pointed object pushed into you and you may be caught somewhere by it: He had fallen and been impaled on some iron railings.

This is a gearshift lever:

1557677547228.jpeg


Thank you.
 
  • Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    This refers to an incident in The World According to Garp by John Irving. The rounded knob had fallen off the gearshift in the story. The remaining part was sharp enough to pierce a person.
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    The gearstick in question would have been more like this one. As Egmont says, the head had come off:
    1557678924646.png


    I forget where the son was riding - in the middle of the back seat would be most likely given how the accident occurred (no rear seatbelts in those days). They crashed into an unexpectedly-parked car, in the dark
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    This refers to an incident in The World According to Garp by John Irving. The rounded knob had fallen off the gearshift in the story. The remaining part was sharp enough to pierce a person.
    ... and it went into his eye which is rather soft. Impale might be a little strong, but it is a horrific scene.
    Much worse than "impale", Garp had two sons. The younger son was killed, but it was the older one who lost his eye because of the gearshift. The book doesn't actually mention that the younger son is dead for some time afterward.
    (It's becoming more and more obvious that no one edits or fact checks Stephen King's books. ;))
     

    Chasint

    Senior Member
    English - England
    This refers to an incident in The World According to Garp by John Irving. The rounded knob had fallen off the gearshift in the story. The remaining part was sharp enough to pierce a person.
    1557679807325.png


    In the 1970's when the story was written, gearsticks were generally longer than in the above picture.
     
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