Friday, July 07, 2006

It's a fine line

People will tell you that openings in novels are important. Generally they’re right, but not if you’re Philip Roth - the first lines in his novels are fairly mundane. It doesn’t matter. By the time you’re three pages in, you’re totally absorbed. Unless you’re a stupid person who doesn’t like Roth. If this is the case, you should be locked in a room with Marco from Big Brother until you repent.

Anyway, I’m not actually here to talk about the Rothmeister, just to lay down a few opening lines that I’ve enjoyed recently. Here they are:

The year I turned ninety, I wanted to give myself the gift of a night of wild love with an adolescent virgin.
Memories of My Melancholy Whores, Gabriel Garcia Marquez

I have a discovery to report. Many of the world’s great treasures are known to have been lost over the centuries. I believe I may have found one of them. What follows is the evidence for my claim.
Headlong, Michael Frayn

“Oh God, I feel like a refugee from a Douglas Coupland novel.”
“That asshole.”
“Who does he think he is?”
JPod, Douglas Coupland

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