Excerpt from Yellow by Janni Visman, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio


A Novel

by Janni Visman

  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jun 2005, 192 pages
    Jun 2006, 192 pages

  • Rate this book

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

I take stock of his features to check against my well-rehearsed description. The police will need to make a photo-fit if he goes missing. I have photographs of him but it is not the same: if you love someone you should be able to build them in the mind's eye.

Everyday when he leaves for work I think maybe today he won't come back.

If the police know who Christopher Walken is, I will say Ivan looks like a thinner version. If they don't know who the actor is I will say: Ivan — blond thick hair, worn longish with a side parting. Sideburns. He has a tendency not to shave and there is ginger in his stubble. His right eye is blue; his left is green. They have the shape of fish; the sort of fish a child would draw. They are set at a distance where another eye could fit between them. I have measured this with my little finger. Where the fin would be are his smile lines; they run the length of his temples. The skin there is sometimes very dry. His forehead is high and etched with three frown lines, the middle one shorter than the outside two, placed centrally on the vertical but higher to the top line than the bottom. There is also a vertical line that runs up from the bridge of his nose to just above his eyebrows. It intersects with the bottom frown line to make a little cross. This line has appeared during the time we have been together. It is growing. One day, I think it will reach his hairline.

He has his mother's eyebrows. I have not met her but I have seen her picture. They are neat enough to seem plucked; the arch is perfectly placed. The test: run a pencil diagonally from the outer edge of the nostril across the centre of the iris of the eye: where the pencil meets the eyebrow is where the arch should be. The curve of his arch is exactly there.

Overall the shape of his face is more a rectangle than a square. My face is heart-shaped. My nose is small. His nose is strong, long, verging on large. There is a bump and a hint of a twist below the bridge. This is not genetic. It didn't reset properly when it was broken (a childhood accident - a book thrown at him in a classroom). The tip is splayed and there is a dent in the middle; it dips neither up nor down. His nostrils are very pronounced, as if someone took a long time with a sculpting tool - poking and lifting and smoothing to give height, pinching to round and tuck and tailor. They are as perfect as little shells. They compliment his high cheekbones. His jaw line is as definite as the sides of a fifty-pence piece. His mouth is wide with full lips. The top lip has a deep valley beneath his nose and the edge of his lips meets his face in a clipped peak; it gives the impression of being drawn around with lip-liner. When we first met I would rub at it to check. His bottom lip is fuller than his top lip. This makes him look vulnerable. This fuller bottom lip, according to my alternative medicine books, shows a propensity to stomach problems, which has proved true. I monitor his diet. I should be more strict: I shouldn't let him eat oranges - too acidic. His stomach problem is why he is so thin. I think of him more as vacuum-moulded; the skin pulled tight to his body. Sinewy not bony. I think of him as strong. His shoulders are broad. When I first saw him I thought:

From Yellow by Janni Visman, pages 3-15. Copyright Janni Visman 2005. All rights reserved.  Reproduced with the permission of Viking USA.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Of Arms and Artists
    Of Arms and Artists
    by Paul Staiti
    In the late eighteenth-century, the United States of America was still an emerging country, ...
  • Book Jacket: So Say the Fallen
    So Say the Fallen
    by Stuart Neville
    Noir crime fiction – Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett anyone? – is an American invention...
  • Book Jacket: The Mothers
    The Mothers
    by Brit Bennett
    Every now and then the publishing industry gushes about a young author destined to become the next ...
Book Discussions
Book Jacket
The Bone Tree
by Greg Iles

An epic trilogy of blood and race, family and justice.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Next
    by Stephanie Gangi

    Fast-paced, wickedly observant, and haunting in the best sense of the word.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    News of the World
    by Paulette Jiles

    Exquisitely rendered and morally complex--a brilliant work of historical fiction.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Cruel Beautiful World
    by Caroline Leavitt

    A fast moving page-turner about the naiveté of youth and the malignity of power.

    Read Member Reviews

Win this book!
Win The World of Poldark

Win the book & DVD

Enter to win The World of Poldark and the full first series on DVD.


Word Play

Solve this clue:

One S D N M A S

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.


Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!

Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.