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  • Vex, Hex, Smash, Smooch

  • Let Verbs Power Your Writing
  • Written by: Constance Hale
  • Narrated by: Eva Wilhelm
  • Length: 10 hrs and 32 mins

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Vex, Hex, Smash, Smooch

Written by: Constance Hale
Narrated by: Eva Wilhelm
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Publisher's Summary

A writing handbook that celebrates the infinite pizzazz of verbs.

Writers know it instinctively: Verbs make a sentence zing. Grammar gurus agree: Drama in writing emerges from the interplay of a subject (noun) and a predicate (verb). Constance Hale, the best-selling author of Sin and Syntax, zooms in on the colorful world of verbs.

Synthesizing the pedagogical and the popular, the scholarly and the scandalous, Hale combines the wit of Bill Bryson with the practical wisdom of William Zinsser. She marches through linguistic history to paint a layered picture of our language - from before it really existed to the quirky usages we see online today. She warns about habits to avoid and inspires with samples of brilliant writing. A veteran teacher, Hale gives writing prompts along the way, helping listeners "try, do, write, play". Vex, Hex, Smash, Smooch guides us to more powerful writing by demonstrating how to use great verbs with style.

©2012 Constance Hale (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Vex, Hex, Smash, Smooch

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • GH
  • 2013-07-13

Chafe, curse, demolish, adore – I heart the book

Whether it is nobler to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous monotonic verbs or to take arms against the sea of unvarnished writers that is Constance Hales’ question. I did not expect to like this book as much as I do. I love books but a grammarian I am not. Hale extends a hand hoping to lead us on a stroll through the land of verbs with craggy cliffs and slippery slopes. This is a journey not a lecture.

This work appeals to writers to transform their sentences into dynamic buds of interest elevating story and provides tools and examples. I recommend this book heartily.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • John
  • 2013-07-12

This is brutal to listen too!

What did you like best about Vex, Hex, Smash, Smooch? What did you like least?

The content is great, I have really tried to get through the narration which is a real mission. The narration is the ONLY thing i dont like about this book, the monotone, nasal performance is just grating.

I dont understand, with the amount of narrators in the world, how you can really go wrong. There must be a process of hearing the first samples and saying ok, does this narrators pitch, tone and even annunciation of words land on the ear with ease?

There is pitch rises in strange places that just doesn't sit well, it just sounds like the narrator is trying to perform the reading in a slightly better tone than there natural tone. A narration should be transparent to a degree, but this is the only thing I could focus on

What was one of the most memorable moments of Vex, Hex, Smash, Smooch?

The content is great, all good information that I could clearly use

How could the performance have been better?

A different narrator would solve the problem of this book rather quickly

If this book were a movie would you go see it?


Any additional comments?

I feel bad as this is my first review but I was so disappointed after waiting fro this on pre order. We really need a sample test to check for things like this in advanced. I would be interested to see if other find the narration annoying as well

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Beachy Booky
  • 2014-06-25

Too literary for me.

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Author spends too much time waxing poetically about verbs. Not my cup of tea. But if you're a word lover - a trivia maven - a lover of metaphor and quotes, then you might really like this book.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • N
  • 2014-03-19

Original Narrator was Good, New One Fine

What made the experience of listening to Vex, Hex, Smash, Smooch the most enjoyable?

I liked the first narrator, Anna Lathrop, and I was surprised by the change in narrator. Wilhelm is good too. Anyway, this is a great resource and will add agility to your prose. I highly recommend it.

What other book might you compare Vex, Hex, Smash, Smooch to and why?

Sin and Syntax

Which character – as performed by Eva Wilhelm – was your favorite?


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No. It's too dense, but it's a great listen for 30-45 minutes at a time.