Another meme, this one from gehayi
a. Choose ten of your all-time favorite books.
b. Take the first sentence of the first chapter (NOT the prologue) and make a list in your journal.
c. Don't reveal the author or the title of the book.
d. Now everyone try and guess.
1. The passing of time flattens everything: the altered perspective thus created annihilates the sequence of events and replaces it with the illusion of simultaneity, an illusion reinforced by the convenient habit of slicing history into neat, decade-sized chunks.
2. Whenever, fairest ladies, I pause to consider how compassionate you all are by nature, I invariably become aware that the present work will seem to you to possess an irksome and ponderous opening. (The Decameron of Boccaccio
got this one, but that's a little unfair, because she's a TOTAL RINGER. Interestingly, this made gehayi
's list too, and I didn't recognize it there until after I had typed it out for myself. Usually, I guess, I just skip to the dirty bits.)
3. On the last Thursday in March, somewhere between ten-thirty and eleven in the morning, Francine Khoury told her husband she was going out for a while, she had marketing to do. (A Walk Among the Tombstones, by Lawrence Block
-- recognized by lynnmonster
, on whom I forced the book ten years ago.)
4. Few heroes lower their sights in the prime of their lives; triumph leads inexorably on, often to destruction.
5. Towards the middle of the month of May, in the year 1660, at nine o'clock in the morning, when the sun, already high in the heavens, was fast absorbing the dew from the ramparts of the castle of Blois, a little cavalcade, composed of three men and two pages, re-entered the city by the bridge, without producing any other effect upon the strollers of the river bank beyond a first movement of the hand to the head, as a salute, and a second movement of the tongue to express, in the purest French then spoken in France: "There is Monsieur returning from hunting." (londonkds
has ascertained that this is Dumas; but which Dumas is it?)
6. His head unnaturally aching, Barney Mayerson woke to find himself in an unfamiliar bedroom in an unfamiliar conapt building. (Philip K. Dick's The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch
again, with a book I gave her for her birthday.)
7. My wife and I were both born without whatever brain part it is that allows people to decorate their homes.
8. As I move my hand to write this statement of my own free will -- we can argue about the free will later -- there is in me no remorse, no desire to justify.
9. Pulling one hand from the warmth of a pocket, Jay Landsman squats down to grab the dead man's chin, pushing the head to one side until the wound becomes visible as a small, ovate hole, oozing red and white.
10. The job: take down a bookie mill, let the press in -- get some ink to compete with the fight probe.
And special bonus questions:
11. The train of events leading up to the publication of the novel Cocktail Time
, a volume which, priced at twelve shillings and sixpence, was destined to create considerably more than twelve and a half bobsworth of alarm and despondency in one quarter and another, was set in motion in the smoking-room of the Drones Club in the early afternoon of a Friday in July.
12. Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her.