There were additional comments made about the quiz I posted yesterday. You’ll find my favorite if you keep reading. But don’t cheat, OK? OK! (I have my sources).
One of the comments was so funny that I had to share it. It seems there was a Far Side comic showing Herman Melville writing and discarding page after page after page, tearing his hair with frustration: “Call me Warren.” “Call me Roger.” “Call me Larry.” “Call me Al.” “Call me Bill.” HA HA HA
There are so many great beginnings to books – the kind of beginning that pulls you in immediately. Here are a few more which have been shared:
Brady Udall’s “The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint” begins with: “If I could tell you only one thing about my life it would be this: when I was seven years old the mailman ran over my head. As formative events go, nothing else comes close.” The reader who made the comment added: “Hard to put the book down after that.”
One reader shared this: “The man in black fled across the desert and the gunslinger followed.” Thus begins Stephen King’s epic 7 volume Dark Tower series.
Another shared this one: “The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become Legend.” It’s from “Every Wheel of Time.”
Here’s one from a book published in 1961. The contributor put it this way: “A small dusty man in a small dusty room. That’s how I always thought of him, just a small dusty man in a small dusty room.” Yeah, it’s two lines with the period inserted; but one of my favorite memorable lines from a book read 40 years ago. It’s from The Black Shrike by Alistair Maclean.
Here’s a great opening to a piece in an article published in Cosmopolitan magazine in 1936: “It was now lunch time and they were all sitting under the double green fly of the dining tent pretending that nothing had happened.” “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber” by Ernest Hemingway.
Here are a few more: “People do not give it credence that a fourteen-year-old girl could leave home and go off in the wintertime to avenge her father’s blood but it did not seem so strange then, although I will say it did not happen every day.” (From “True Grit” by Charles Portis)
“This book does not claim to be an account of facts and events but of personal experiences, experiences which millions of prisoners have suffered time and again.” (From “Man’s Search for Meaning,” by Victor Frankl).
And this from one of my favorite books of all time: “When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow.” (I don’t even need to include the title, do I).
“Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” You guessed it! Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (He is SO quotable!)
“It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.” (1984 by George Orwell)
Here’s another one that’s easy to guess: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.” Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities.
I remember friends and I used to start some conversations with the beginning of a book (I can’t remember the name of it): “It was a dark and stormy night….”
“The grandmother didn’t want to go to Florida.” Flannery O’Connor, “A Good Man is Hard to Find.”
But of all the ones I read, this is the one which “took the prize” for MEE: “I Nephi, having been born of goodly parents, therefore I was taught somewhat in all the learning of my father….” FANTASTIC!!! A book you can’t and shouldn’t “put down.”