Archives for first page

Great opening paragraph 67… ‘American Psycho’ #amwriting #FirstPara

“Abandon all hope ye who enter here is scrawled in blood red lettering on the side of the Chemical Bank near the corner of Eleventh and First and is in print large enough to be seen from the backseat of the cab as it lurches forward in the traffic leaving Wall Street and just as Timothy Price notices the words a bus pulls up, the advertisement for Les Misérables on its side blocking his view, but Price who is with Pierce & Pierce and twenty-six doesn’t seem to care because he tells the driver he will give him five dollars to turn up the radio, “Be My Baby” on WYNN, and the driver, black, not American, does so.” ‘American Psycho’ by Bret Easton Ellis Amazon Try one of these 1st paras & discover a new author:- ‘After You’d Gone’ by Maggie O’Farrell ‘To Have and Have Not’ by Ernest Hemingway ‘The Secret History’ by Donna Tartt And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet: I want to read more: AMERICAN PSYCHO by Brett Easton Ellis #books via @SandraDanby http://wp.me/p5gEM4-10w  
Read More

Categories: Book Love and On Writing.

Great opening paragraph 65… ‘A Passage to India’ #amwriting #FirstPara

“Except for the Marabar Caves – and they are twenty miles off – the city of Chandrapore presents nothing extraordinary. Edged rather than washed by the River Ganges, it trails for a couple of miles along the bank, scarcely distinguishable from the rubbish it deposits so freely. There are no bathing-steps on the river front, as the Ganges happens not to be holy here; indeed there is no river front, and bazaars shut out the wide and shifting panorama of the stream. The streets are mean, the temples ineffective, and though a few fine houses exist they are hidden away in gardens or down alleys whose filth deters all but the invited guest. Chandrapore was never large or beautiful, but two hundred years ago it lay on the road between Upper India, then imperial, and the sea, and the fine houses date from that period. The zest for decoration stopped in the eighteenth century, nor was it ever democratic. In the bazaars there is no painting and scarcely any carving. The very wood seems made of mud, the inhabitants of mud moving. So abased, so monotonous is everything that meets the eye, that when the Ganges comes down it might
Read More

Categories: Book Love and On Writing.

Great opening paragraph 64… ‘True Grit’ #amwriting #FirstPara

“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. I was just fourteen years of age when a coward going by the name of Tom Chaney shot my father down in Fort Smith, Arkansas, and robbed him of his life and his horse and $150 in cash money plus two California gold pieces that he carried in his trouser band.” ‘True Grit’ by Charles Portis Amazon Try one of these 1st paras & discover a new author:- ‘The Big Sleep’ by Raymond Chandler ‘Brighton Rock’ by Graham Greene ‘The Ghost Road’ by Pat Barker And to see what fourteen-year-old Mattie Ross might be like, if she were real, click here. And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet: TRUE GRIT by Charles Portis #books via @SandraDanby http://wp.me/p5gEM4-eB
Read More

Categories: Book Love and On Writing.

Great opening paragraph 63… ‘Pride and Prejudice’ #amwriting #FirstPara

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” ‘Pride and Prejudice’ by Jane Austen Amazon Try one of these 1st paras & discover a new author:- ‘The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry’ by Rachel Joyce ‘The Heart is a Lonely Hunter’ by Carson McCullers ‘That They May Face the Rising Sun’ by John McGahern And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet: PRIDE AND PREJUDICE by #JaneAusten #books http://wp.me/p5gEM4-8t via @SandraDanby
Read More

Categories: Book Love and On Writing.

Great opening paragraph 62… ‘The Impressionist’ #amwriting #FirstPara

“One afternoon, three years after the beginning of the new century, red dust which was once rich mountain soil quivers in the air. It falls on a rider who is making slow progress through the ravines which score the plains south of the mountains, drying his throat, filming his clothes, clogging the pores of his pink perspiring English face.” ‘The Impressionist’ by Hari Kunzru Amazon Try one of these 1st paras & discover a new author:- ‘Sacred Hearts’ by Sarah Dunant ‘Possession’ by AS Byatt ‘Death in Summer’ by William Trevor And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet: I want to read more: THE IMPRESSIONIST by @harikunzru #books http://wp.me/p5gEM4-eQ via @SandraDanby
Read More

Categories: Book Love and On Writing.

Great opening paragraph 61… ‘Dance Dance Dance’ #amwriting #FirstPara

“I often dream about the Dolphin Hotel. In these dreams, I’m there, implicated in some kind of ongoing circumstance. All indications are that I belong to this dream continuity. The Dolphin Hotel is distorted, much too narrow. It seems more like a long, covered bridge. A bridge stretching endlessly through time. And there I am, in the middle of it. Someone else is there too, crying. The hotel envelops me. I can feel its pulse, its heat. In dreams, I am part of the hotel.” ‘Dance Dance Dance’ by Haruki Murakami Amazon Try one of these 1st paras & discover a new author:- ‘Armadillo’ by William Boyd ‘Perfume’ by Patrick Suskind ‘Couples’ by John Updike And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet: A 1st para which makes me want to read more: DANCE DANCE DANCE by Haruki Murakami #books http://wp.me/p5gEM4-m3 via @SandraDanby
Read More

Categories: Book Love and On Writing.

Great opening paragraph 60… ‘Lord Jim’ #amwriting #FirstPara

“He was an inch, perhaps two, under six feet, powerfully built, and he advanced straight at you with a slight stoop of the shoulders, head forward, and a fixed from-under stare which made you think of a charging bull. His voice was deep, loud, and his manner displayed a kind of dogged self-assertion which had nothing aggressive in it. It seemed a necessity, and it was directed apparently as much at himself as at anybody else. He was spotlessly neat, apparelled in immaculate white from shoes to hat, and in the various Eastern ports where he got his living as ship-chandler’s water-clerk he was very popular.” ‘Lord Jim’ by Joseph Conrad Amazon Try one of these 1st paras & discover a new author:- ‘Diary of an Ordinary Woman’ by Margaret Forster ‘The Big Sleep’ by Raymond Chandler ‘Before I Go To Sleep’ by SJ Watson And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet: A 1st para which makes me want to read more: LORD JIM by Joseph Conrad #books http://wp.me/p5gEM4-f3 via @SandraDanby
Read More

Categories: Book Love and On Writing.

Great opening paragraph 59… ‘The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry’ #amwriting #FirstPara

“The letter that would change everything arrived on a Tuesday. It was an ordinary morning in mid-April that smelt of clean washing and grass cuttings. Harold Fry sat at the breakfast table, freshly shaved, in a clean shirt and tie, with  slice of toast that he wasn’t eating. He gazed beyond the kitchen window at the clipped lawn, which was spiked in the middle by Maureen’s telescopic washing line, and trapped on all three sides by the neighbours’ closeboard fencing.” ‘The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry’ by Rachel Joyce Amazon Try one of these 1st paras & discover a new author:- ‘Perfume’ by Patrick Suskind ‘Original Sin’ by PD James ‘Illywhacker’ by Peter Carey And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet: A 1st para which makes me want to read more: THE UNLIKELY PILGRIMAGE OF HAROLD FRY by @R_Joyce_Books #books http://wp.me/p5gEM4-kt via @SandraDanby
Read More

Categories: Book Love and On Writing.

Great opening paragraph 58… ‘Possession’ #amwriting #FirstPara

“The book was thick and black and covered with dust. Its boards were bowed and creaking; it had been maltreated in its own time. Its spine was missing, or rather protruded from amongst the leaves like a bulky marker. It was bandaged about and about with dirty white tape, tied in a neat bow. The librarian handed it to Roland Michell, who was sitting waiting for it in the Reading Room of the London Library. It had been exhumed from Locked Safe no.5 where it usually stood between Pranks of Priapus and The Grecian Way of Love. It was ten in the morning, one day in September 1986. Roland had the small single table he liked best, behind a square pillar, with the clock over the fireplace nevertheless in full view. To his right, was a high sunny window, through which you could see the high green leaves of St James’s Square.” ‘Possession’ by AS Byatt Amazon   Try one of these 1st paras & discover a new author:- ‘The Philosopher’s Pupil’ by Iris Murdoch ‘Astonishing Splashes of Colour’ by Clare Morrall ‘Room’ by Emma Donoghue And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
Read More

Categories: Book Love and On Writing.

Great opening paragraph 57… ‘The Philosopher’s Pupil’ #amwriting #FirstPara

“A few minutes before his brainstorm, or whatever it was, took place, George McCaffrey was having a quarrel with his wife. It was eleven o’clock on a rainy March evening. They had been visiting George’s mother. Now George was driving along the quayside, taking the short-cut along the canal past the iron foot-bridge. It was raining hard. The malignant rain rattled on the car like shot. Propelled in oblique flurries, it assaulted the windscreen, obliterating in a second the frenetic strivings of the windscreen wipers. Little demonic faces composed of racing raindrops appeared and vanished. The intermittent yellow light of the street lamps, illuminating the grey atoms of the storm, fractured in sudden stars upon the rain-swarmed glass. Bumping on cobbles the car hummed and drummed.” ‘The Philosopher’s Pupil’ by Iris Murdoch Amazon   Try one of these 1st paras & discover a new author:- ‘Couples’ by John Updike ‘Spies’ by Michael Frayn ‘The Collector’ by John Fowles And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet: A great 1st para: THE PHILOSOPHER’S PUPIL by Iris Murdoch #books http://wp.me/p5gEM4-mf via @SandraDanby
Read More

Categories: Book Love and On Writing.

Great opening paragraph 56… ‘Lord of the Flies’ #amwriting #FirstPara

“The boy with the fair hair lowered himself down the last few feet of rock and began to pick his way towards the lagoon. Though he had taken off his school sweater and trailed it now from one hand, his grey shirt stuck to him and his hair was plastered to his forehead. All round him the long scar smashed into the jungle was a bath of heat. He was clambering heavily among the creepers and the broken trunks when a bird, a vision of red and yellow, flashed upwards with a witch-like cry; and this cry was echoed by another.” ‘Lord of the Flies’ by William Golding Amazon Try one of these 1st paras & discover a new author:- ‘Death in Summer’ by William Trevor ‘Fair Exchange’ by Michele Forbes ‘Herzog’ by Saul Bellow And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet: A great 1st para: LORD OF THE FLIES by William Golding #books http://wp.me/p5gEM4-7Z via @SandraDanby
Read More

Categories: Book Love and On Writing.

Great opening paragraph 55… ‘Far from the Madding Crowd’ #amwriting #FirstPara

“When Farmer Oak smiled, the corners of his mouth spread till they were within an unimportant distance of his ears, his eyes were reduced to chinks, and diverging wrinkles appeared round them, extending upon his countenance like the rays in a rudimentary sketch of the rising sun.” ‘Far from the Madding Crowd’ by Thomas Hardy Amazon Try one of these 1st paras & discover a new author:- ‘Lord Jim’ by Joseph Conrad ‘Notes on a Scandal’ by Zoe Heller ‘The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’ by Mark Twain And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet: A great 1st para: FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD by Thomas Hardy #books http://wp.me/p5gEM4-7J via @SandraDanby
Read More

Categories: Book Love and On Writing.

Great Opening Paragraph 54… ‘The Great Fortune’ #amwriting #FirstPara

“Somewhere near Venice, Guy began talking with a heavy, elderly man, a refugee from Germany on his way to Trieste. Guy asked questions. The refugee eagerly replied. Neither seemed aware when the train stopped. In the confusion of a newly created war, the train was stopping every twenty minutes or so. Harriet looked out and saw girders, darker than the twilit darkness, holding an upper rail. Between the girders a couple fumbled and struggled, every now and then thrusting a foot or an elbow out into the light that fell from the carriage windows. Beyond the girders water glinted, reflecting the phosphorescent globes lighting the high rail.” ‘The Great Fortune’ by Olivia Manning, from ‘The Balkan Trilogy’ Amazon Try one of these 1st paras & discover a new author:- ‘I’ll Take You There’ by Joyce Carol Oates ‘A Severed Head’ by Iris Murdoch ‘The Bell Jar’ by Sylvia Plath And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet: A great 1st para: FORTUNES OF WAR by Olivia Manning #books http://wp.me/p5gEM4-mx via @SandraDanby
Read More

Categories: Book Love and On Writing.

Great opening paragraph 53… ‘Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World’ #amwriting #FirstPara

“The elevator continued its impossibly slow ascent. Or at least I imagined it was ascent. There was no telling for sure: it was so slow that all sense of direction simply vanished. It could have been going down for all I knew, or maybe it wasn’t moving at all. But let’s assume it was going up. Merely a guess. Maybe I’d gone up twelve stories, then down three. Maybe I’d circled the glove. How would I know?” ‘Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World’ by Haruki Murakami Amazon Try one of these 1st paras & discover a new author:- ‘Mara and Dann’ by Doris Lessing ‘The Ghost Road’ by Pat Barker ‘The L-Shaped Room’ by Lynn Reid Banks And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet: A 1st para which makes me want to read more: HARD-BOILED WONDERLAND by Haruki Murakami #books http://wp.me/p5gEM4-m9 via @SandraDanby
Read More

Categories: Book Love and On Writing.

Great opening paragraph 52… ‘Astonishing Splashes of Colour’ #amwriting #FirstPara

“At 3.15 every weekday afternoon, I become anonymous in a crowd of parents and child-minders congregating outside the school gates. To me, waiting for children to come out of school is a quintessential act of motherhood. I see the mums – and the occasional dads – as yellow people. Yellow as the sun, a daffodil, the submarine. But why do we teach children to paint the sun yellow? It’s a deception. The sun is white-hot, brilliant, impossible to see with the naked eye, so why do we confuse brightness with yellow?” ‘Astonishing Splashes of Colour’ by Clare Morrall Amazon Read my reviews of these novels by Clare Morrall:- After the Bombing The Man Who Disappeared The Language of Others The Roundabout Man Natural Flights of the Human Mind Try one of these 1st paras & discover a new author:- ‘Tipping the Velvet’ by Sarah Waters ‘The Secret History’ by Donna Tartt ‘Queen Camilla’ by Sue Townsend And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet: A 1st para which makes me want to read more: ASTONISHING SPLASHES OF COLOUR by Clare Morrall #books http://wp.me/p5gEM4-mc via @SandraDanby
Read More

Categories: Book Love and On Writing.

Great opening paragraph 51… ‘The Sea, The Sea’ #amwriting #FirstPara

“The sea which lies before me as I write glows rather than sparkles in the bland May sunshine. With the tide turning, it leans quietly against the land, almost unflecked by ripples or by foam. Near to the horizon it is a luxurious purple, spotted with regular lines of emerald green. AT the horizon it is indigo. Near to the shore, where my view is framed by rising heaps of humpy yellow rock, there is a band of lighter green, icy and pure, less radiant, opaque however, not transparent. We are in the north, and the bright sunshine cannot penetrate the sea. Where the gentle water taps the rocks there is still a surface skin of colour. The cloudless sky is very pale at the indigo horizon which it lightly pencils in with silver. Its blue gains towards the zenith and vibrates there. But the sky looks cold, even the sun looks cold.” ‘The Sea, The Sea’ by Iris Murdoch  Amazon Try one of these 1st paras & discover a new author:- ‘The Impressionist’ by Hari Kunzru ‘These Foolish Things’ by Deborah Moggach ‘Sophie’s World’ by Jostein Gaarder And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my
Read More

Categories: Book Love and On Writing.

Great opening paragraph 50… ‘These Foolish Things’ #amwriting #FirstPara

“Muriel Donnelly, an old girl in her seventies, was left in a hospital cubicle for forty-eight hours. She had taken a tumble in Peckham High Street and was admitted with cuts, bruises and suspected concussion. Two days she lay in A&E, untended, the blood stiffening on her clothes.” ‘These Foolish Things by Deborah Moggach Amazon Try one of these 1st paras & discover a new author:- ‘A Farewell to Arms’ by Ernest Hemingway ‘Back When We Were Grown Ups’ by Anne Tyler ‘Time Will Darken It’ by William Maxwell And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet: A 1st para which makes me want to read more: THESE FOOLISH THINGS by Deborah Moggach #books http://wp.me/p5gEM4-mA via @SandraDanby
Read More

Categories: Book Love and On Writing.

Great Opening paragraph 49… ‘A Bouquet of Barbed Wire’ #amwriting #FirstPara

“It began to rain as he entered the park, but not hard enough to make him look round for a taxi. Emerging from the station, he had been tempted by a pale gleam of sunshine, sufficient to convince him of the physical benefits of walking. He needed exercise, he had decided, just as he needed fewer cigarettes and less alcohol: it was pathetic how the habits of sloth and self-indulgence crept up unnoticed, along with middle age, that unbecoming state which you did not even recognize until events brought it sharply and unkindly home to you. And now the fine spring rain, for her first day back. He pictured her with painful tenderness, suntanned and shivering, getting ready for college in the unfamiliar flat. Was he too late? Would she still be there by the time he was able to phone? He had left home an hour ahead, under Cassie’s indulgent eyes, to catch an earlier train, feeling he could only telephone properly from the office, yet not knowing what he could possibly find to say that would be sufficiently casual when he finally heard her voice.” ‘A Bouquet of Barbed Wire’ by Andrea Newman Amazon Try one of these 1st
Read More

Categories: Book Love and On Writing.

Great Opening paragraph 48… ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’ #amwriting #FirstPara

“Master was a little crazy; he had spent too many years reading books overseas, talked to himself in his office, did not always return greetings, and had too much hair. Ugwu’s aunty said this in a low voice as they walked on the path. ‘But he is a good man,’ she added. ‘And as long as you work well, you will eat well. You will even eat meat every day.’ She stopped to spit; the saliva left her mouth with a sucking sound and landed on the grass.” ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’ by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche Amazon Try one of these 1st paras & discover a new author:- ‘Lucky You’ by Carl Hiassen ‘After You’d Gone’ by Maggie O’Farrell ‘Family Album’ by Penelope Lively And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet: A 1st para which makes me want to read more: HALF OF A YELLOW SUN by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche #books http://wp.me/p5gEM4-mJ via @SandraDanby
Read More

Categories: Book Love and On Writing.

Great Opening Paragraph 47… ‘Enduring Love’ #amwriting #FirstPara

“The beginning is simple to mark. We were in sunlight under a turkey oak, partly protected from a strong, gusty wind. I was kneeling on the grass with a corkscrew in my hand, and Clarissa was passing me the bottle – a 1987 Daumas Gassac. This was the moment, this was the pinprick on the time map: I was stretching out my hand, and as the cool neck and the black foil touched my palm, we heard a man’s shout. We turned to look across the field and saw the danger. Next thing, I was running towards it. The transformation was absolute: I don’t recall dropping the corkscrew, or getting to my feet, or making a decision, or hearing the caution Clarissa called after me. What idiocy, to be racing into this story and its labyrinths, sprinting away from our happiness among the fresh spring grasses by the oak. There was the shout again, and a child’s cry, enfeebled by the wind that roared in the tall trees along the hedgerows. I ran faster. And there, suddenly, from different points around the field, four other men were converging on the scene, running like me.” ‘Enduring Love’ by Ian McEwan Amazon
Read More

Categories: Book Love and On Writing.