then falling away as if sucked into the earth


Senior Member
Six minutes later, she left rubber at the on-ramp for the state highway that turned north past the last remnants of the city, a few outlying buildings rising on her left, then falling away as if sucked into the earth.
What does "then falling away as if sucked into the earth" mean?
Source: Redemption Road
Author: John Hart
  • suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    It’s confusing. The sentence seems to be about her and her driving technique (fast - she leaves rubber on the road) then the author sweeps off in an extended description of the neighbourhood.

    As a metaphor for something in a city I cannot, personally, decode it. This would not be something I’d dwell on if I was reading this book, but I guess it’s meant to depict a steep drop on the road?

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    It is describing the profile of the buildings on the left on the outskirts of the city. Successive buildings as she passes them get taller than the last, then they get smaller. The language gives an image of the buildings all really being the same height but some are partially buried. As the buildings get shorter, it is if they are more and more buried, or "sucked into the earth".


    New Member
    It describes the view of the city buildings as the driver leaves them behind - driving at speed, they get smaller very fast (in her rear view mirror). It combines a literal effect with a metaphorical one. The buildings appear smaller the further away from them she drives. But also their significance to her diminishes. She is obviously keen to leave the city behind as fast as possible.