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:: St. Stephen's Musings

:: Wednesday, November 27, 2002 ::

First Lines of Books:

Jay Nordlinger writes a column at titled "Impromptus".....This is a sampling of some of his readers' favorite first lines from books--Enjoy!

Margaret Mitchell: Gone with the Wind: �Scarlett O�Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were.�

And this is not a first line, but an epigraph: L. P. Hartley: The Go-Between: �The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.�

Robert Louis Stevenson, The Master of Ballantrae: �The full truth of this odd matter is what the world has long been looking for and the public curiosity is sure to welcome.�

Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker�s Guide to the Galaxy: �Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western Spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun.� (One of the funniest books ever written, IMHO!)

From Charlotte�s Web: ��Where�s Papa going with that ax?� said Fern to her mother as they were setting the table for breakfast.�

Here are the opening two sentences from Ring Lardner�s Champion: �Midge Kelly scored his first knockout when he was seventeen. The knockee was his brother Connie, three years his junior and a cripple.�

From Allan Bloom�s Closing of the American Mind: �There is one thing a professor can be absolutely certain of: almost every student entering the university believes, or says he believes, that truth is relative.�

From Gravity�s Rainbow: �A screaming comes across the sky.�
Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: �We were an hour outside of Barstow when the mescaline kicked in.�

Quest for a Maid by Frances Mary Hendry: �When I was seven, I hid under a table and watched my sister kill a king.�

�Sing, Goddess, Achilles� rage / black and murderous, that cost the Greeks / Incalculable pain, pitched countless souls / Of heroes into Hades� dark / And left their bodies to rot as feasts / For dogs and birds, as Zeus� will was done.� � Iliad, Book I, Lombardo translation

�Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, �and what is the use of a book,� thought Alice �without pictures or conversation?�� � Lewis Carroll, Alice�s Adventures in Wonderland.

Robert Heinlein, Year of the Jackpot: �At first, Potiphar Breen did not notice the girl taking her clothes off.�

Kurt Vonnegut, �Harrison Bergeron�: �The year was 2081, and everyone was finally equal.�

:: Karl :: 11:30:00 AM [Link] ::

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