The natural fragrance of her body was a spicy, angry smell like that of fresh pencil shavings.
Aliya Whiteley’s brother says that:
pencil shavings do not smell spicy or angry. And the whole idea of pencil shavings smelling angry had made him very angry. What kind of a rubbish writerly phrase is this? Is it style over meaning?
As a Chabon fanboy who foists copies of Gentlemen of the Road on friends, I can confirm that this is a wonderful sentence. (I think.)
Oh, look. A glass of water.