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Best first lines in literature-- let's take a break from politics for a bit of culture.

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posted on Oct, 15 2016 @ 11:21 PM
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I fear this has degenerated into people posting the first lines of their favourite books without judging the quality of the first lines themselves.

Genesis 1:1? That’s the way a kindergartener begins a story. Come on.




posted on Oct, 15 2016 @ 11:29 PM
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"Wind howled through the night, carrying a scent that would change the world." - Christopher Paolini



posted on Oct, 15 2016 @ 11:33 PM
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a reply to: Astyanax

When it comes to absolute quality, I can always depend on M. John:



The aristocratic thugs of the High City whistle as they go about their factional games among the derelict observatories and abandoned fortifications at Lowth. Distant or close at hand, these exchanges-short commanding blasts and protracted responses which often end on what you imagine is an interrogative note-form the basis of a complex language, to the echo of which you wake suddenly in the leaden hour before dawn. Go to the window: the street is empty.

M. John Harrison Viriconium Knights



edit on 15-10-2016 by Dan00 because:




posted on Oct, 15 2016 @ 11:38 PM
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a reply to: Astyanax

Well I for one can admit to getting a bit too carried away.. quantity over quality is never the way to go.. thanks for keeping it honest, my friend.



And Dan, another quality post.

edit on 15-10-2016 by zosimov because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 15 2016 @ 11:44 PM
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a reply to: zosimov

Well, there's a lot of great stuff to read. It makes me a little sad that I don't think to read much fiction anymore. But your thread has got me motivated to get back on it and I have books coming in the mail.

Plus, if we all just posted one it would be a short thread.

Maybe we should take turns posting one (or cite one already posted) and then the rest could offer a critical post?

I dunno.



I ain't going first.
edit on 15-10-2016 by Dan00 because:




posted on Oct, 15 2016 @ 11:47 PM
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Books in mail? I have about 6000 in the garage. I dig out a box at a time, and read some more over again.



posted on Oct, 15 2016 @ 11:49 PM
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a reply to: JDeLattre89



Books in mail?


Yeah, I know. It's true. I was just hoping to be shot off on some new trajectory by reading something I might not pick myself.

Could work.




posted on Oct, 15 2016 @ 11:49 PM
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originally posted by: Dan00
a reply to: zosimov

Well, there's a lot of great stuff to read. It makes me a little sad that I don't think to read much fiction anymore. But your thread has got me motivated to get back on it and I have books coming in the mail.


That alone makes the thread worth-while!!


Maybe we should take turns posting one and then the rest could offer a critical post?

I dunno.



I ain't going first.


lol Feel free to go at any of mine so far
I feel up to the task.. although some I'd have to admit are not as great as others, or as others' picks on this thread!



posted on Oct, 15 2016 @ 11:52 PM
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originally posted by: JDeLattre89
Books in mail? I have about 6000 in the garage. I dig out a box at a time, and read some more over again.


Well I can't say I have 6000, but there are books aplenty here. I still find myself ordering new ones all the time. It's like Christmas waiting for the mailman to deliver the wrapped package .




posted on Oct, 15 2016 @ 11:54 PM
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a reply to: zosimov

I mean critical just in the sense of offering some creative interpretation. Although that would likely lead to maybe having to defend that interpretation.

Could be funny.

I don't know. Can we do just opening lines, or would this thread become a book club?



ETA: Wait. Wow. Maybe that's what quality means. I mean: you can't do much with my Harrison quotes, but you can do a lot with the Joyce, and maybe even the Gibson a little.


edit on 15-10-2016 by Dan00 because:




posted on Oct, 16 2016 @ 12:00 AM
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a reply to: Dan00

Geez, honestly that is an idea I have brewing for an upcoming thread (book club). Not sure if it'll come to fruition but I have a specific novel in mind and have done all the research.. we shall see.

I like your idea! I have no specific direction in mind with this thread so if it evolves into something more stimulating, all the better!

I do need some sleep, however, and will prob not be contributing any more tonight
(that's a yawn)

Edit: yeah, I went back and took a second look at a couple of my posts.. not so great. I do love the language in your Harrison qt.. evoking a feeling or laughter, conveying a lot with a little, provoking the mind, hinting at what's to come, stimulating curiosity.. or just some gorgeous imagery would all qualify as quality imo.
edit on 16-10-2016 by zosimov because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 16 2016 @ 12:01 AM
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a reply to: zosimov

Totally do the book club.

Sleep well.




posted on Oct, 16 2016 @ 12:16 AM
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originally posted by: Astyanax
I fear this has degenerated into people posting the first lines of their favourite books without judging the quality of the first lines themselves.

Genesis 1:1? That’s the way a kindergartener begins a story. Come on.


I wanted to post Stephenson's Treasure Island yesterday and baulked at its opening sentence.



posted on Oct, 16 2016 @ 01:22 AM
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"This is a story of something that happened long ago when your grandfather was a child." - C.S. Lewis



posted on Oct, 16 2016 @ 01:24 AM
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a reply to: zosimov




Well I can't say I have 6000, but there are books aplenty here. I still find myself ordering new ones all the time. It's like Christmas waiting for the mailman to deliver the wrapped package .


Yes, but I have a single bookcase where I keep my favourites at, with the top shelf being the ones I keep returning to.



posted on Oct, 16 2016 @ 02:19 AM
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a reply to: Kandinsky

Yes, that's one of the least thrilling sentences that ever opened a thriller.

But it's a brilliant book (which I recently re-read). The best bit of writing in it is the chapter where Jim recaptures the Hispaniola single-handed, especially the bit where he describes the sounds made by the ship.



posted on Oct, 16 2016 @ 02:22 AM
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I had to be reminded of this gem. No prizes for guessing the author, but if you can recall the book unassisted, you're a cognoscento.


Into the face of the young man who sat on the terrace of the Hotel Magnifique at Cannes there had crept a look of furtive shame, the shifty, hangdog look which announces that an Englishman is about to talk French.



posted on Oct, 16 2016 @ 02:23 AM
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a reply to: Astyanax

Tip of my tongue! Bloody hell! I'm sure I know this one


ETA -
edit on 10.16.2016 by Kandinsky because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 16 2016 @ 02:27 AM
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At work we have a prayer board and little slips of paper with "A prayer for..." printed on them which people can write their "prayers" on. The priest, at the service, will then select some and read them out for the congregation to pray for.

The other week, completely unawares, our priest chose to read out "A prayer for..." Owen Meaney. I nearly wet myself.

"I am doomed to remember a boy with a wrecked voice – not because of his voice, or because he was the smallest person I ever knew, or even because he was the instrument of my mother’s death, but because he is the reason I believe in God; I am a Christian because of Owen Meany." (A Prayer for Owen Meaney, by John Irving)

No book has ever made me cry the way that one did. I was happy to pray for him that day, real or not.




posted on Oct, 16 2016 @ 08:20 AM
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Love the break from politics, Zosimov!

One of my favorites is from Milan Kundera.

The idea of the eternal return is a mysterious one, and Nietzsche has often perplexed other philosophers with it: to think that everything recurs as we once experienced it, and that the recurrence itself recurs ad infinitum! What does this mad myth signify?

The Unbearable Lightness of Being




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