Beyond the few moving flares and the dulled sounds of screams, Chalmers sensed suddenly, not wanting to look at it, the black immensity of the mountains, the silence of hundreds of uninhabited miles, and the precarious strip of a ledge hanging between a wall of rock and an abyss.
It seemed to him that his brain was a maze where a blind alley opened at every turn, leading into a fog that hid an abyss.
It seemed to her that she saw him fall into the abyss-even though there was nothing to see in his face except the look of a con man whose trick has not worked.
His glance was now like the hands of a man hanging over an abyss, groping frantically for the slightest fissure of doubt, but slipping on the clean, polished rock of her face.
Sitting at the wheel of his car, with the glassy, frozen road flying at his face and down under the wheels at sixty miles an hour, he let the thought of his family drop away from him-and the vision of their faces went rolling back into the abyss of speed that swallowed the bare Trees and lonely structures of the roadside.
Do you wish to continue a struggle that consists of clinging to precarious ledges in a sliding descent to the abyss, a struggle where the hardships you endure are irreversible and the victories you win bring you closer to destruction?
…into my soul, just as they reach into Mulligan’s pocket, reaching to expropriate the value of my person, just as they reach to expropriate his wealth-I saw the impertinent malice of mediocrity boastfully holding up its own emptiness as an abyss to be filled by the bodies of its betters-I saw them seeking, just as they seek to feed on Mulligan’s money, to feed on those hours when I wrote my music and on that which made me write it, seeking to gnaw their way to self-esteem by extorting…
…struggling in the elusive fog of a counterfeit reality, his life a fraud staged by the two who were dearest to him and most trusted, struggling to grasp what was missing from his happiness, struggling down the brittle scaffold of a lie over the abyss of the discovery that he was not the man she loved, but only a resented substitute, half-charity-patient, half-crutch, his perceptiveness becoming his danger and only his surrender to lethargic stupidity protecting the shoddy structure of…
They, too, were only riders on a machine without a driver, they were trembling hitchhikers who knew that their vehicle was about to crash into its final abyss-and it was not love or fear of Boyle that made them cling to their course and press on toward their end, it was something else, it was some one nameless element which they knew and evaded knowing, something which was neither thought nor hope, something he identified only as a certain look in their faces, a furtive look saying: I…
…numbed indifference of her mind: Jim had always managed to switch the weight of his failures upon the strongest plants around him and to survive by destroying them to pay for his errors, as he had done with Dan Conway, as he had done with the industries of Colorado; but this did not have even the rationality of a looter-this pouncing upon the drained carcass of a weaker, a half bankrupt competitor for a moment’s delay, with nothing but a cracking bone between the pouncer and the abyss.
There are no more uses of "abyss" in the book.
Show samples from other sources
These were men who had built up wealth and social status over long careers and now found themselves looking into the abyss. [of the 1987 stock market crash]
Alan Greenspan -- The Age of Turbulence
The nerve-grinding squeal of the spike cutting through the ground sent a shiver up Thomas’s spine, though a second later the Griever tumbled into the abyss.