Archives for first paragraph

Great opening paragraph 77… ‘Vanishing Acts’ #amwriting #FirstPara

“I was six years old the first time I disappeared. My father was working on a magic act for the annual Christmas show at the senior centre, and his assistant, the receptionist who had a real gold tooth and false eyelashes as thick as spiders, got the flu. I was fully prepared to beg my father to be part of the act, but he asked, as if I were the one who would be doing him a favour.” ‘Vanishing Acts’ by Jodi Picoult Amazon Try one of these 1st paras & discover a new author:- ‘The Long Drop’ by Denise Mina  ‘The Guest Cat’ by Takashi Hiraide  ‘The Secret History’ by Donna Tartt And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet: VANISHING ACTS by Jodi Picoult #writing http://wp.me/p5gEM4-1GQ via @SandraDanby
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Categories: Book Love and On Writing.

Great opening paragraph 76… ‘Jack Maggs’ #amwriting #FirstPara

“It was a Saturday night when the man with the red waistcoat arrived in London. It was, to be precise, six of the clock on the fifteenth of April in the year of 1837 that those hooded eyes looked out the window of the Dover coach and beheld, in the bright aura of gas light, a golden bull and an overgrown mouth opening to devour him – the sign of his inn, the Golden Ox.” ‘Jack Maggs’ by Peter Carey  Amazon Try one of these 1st paras & discover a new author:- ‘Sea Glass’ by Anita Shreve  ‘Such a Long Journey’ by Rohinton Mistry  ‘Jane Eyre’ by Charlotte Bronte  And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet: JACK MAGGS by Peter Carey #amwriting http://wp.me/p5gEM4-1GN via @SandraDanby
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Categories: Book Love and On Writing.

Great opening paragraph 75… ‘Diary of an Ordinary Woman’ #amwriting #FirstPara

“26 November 1914. Father said if I want to keep a diary I must begin it on New Year’s Day. He said no one starts a diary in November. But New Year’s Day is five weeks away and I do not want to wait. I don’t see why I should either. Why should diaries have to start on 1st January. It is tidy, I admit, and I am a tidy person, but that is all.” ‘Diary of an Ordinary Woman’ by Margaret Forster Amazon Try one of these 1st paras & discover a new author:- ‘Affinity’ by Sarah Waters ‘A Month in the Country’ by JL Carr ‘Armadillo’ by William Boyd And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet: DIARY OF AN ORDINARY WOMAN by Margaret Forster#bookshttp://wp.me/p5gEM4-1GKvia @SandraDanby
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Categories: Book Love and On Writing.

Great opening paragraph 74… ‘The Last Juror’ #amwriting #FirstPara

“After decades of patient mismanagement and loving neglect, The Ford County Times went bankrupt in 1970. The owner and publisher, Miss Emma Caudle, was ninety-three years old and strapped to a bed in a nursing home in Tupelo. The editor, her son Wilson Caudle, was in his seventies and had a plate in his head from the First War. A perfect circle of dark grafted skin covered the plate at the top of his long, sloping forehead, and throughout his adult life he had endured the nickname of Spot. Spot did this. Spot did that. Here, Spot. There, Spot.” ‘The Last Juror’ by John Grisham Amazon Try one of these 1st paras & discover a new author:- ‘Death in Summer’ by William Trevor ‘The Impressionist’ by Hari Kunzru ‘Lord Jim’ by Joseph Conrad And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet: THE LAST JUROR by @JohnGrisham #books via @SandraDanby http://wp.me/p5gEM4-1Fv
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Categories: Book Love and On Writing.

Great opening paragraph 73… ‘Norwegian Wood’ #amwriting #FirstPara

“I was 37 then, strapped in my seat as the huge 747 plunged through dense cloud cover on approach to Hamburg airport. Cold November rains drenched the earth, lending everything the gloomy air of a Flemish landscape: the ground crew in waterproofs, a flag atop a squat airport building, a BMW billboard. So – Germany again.” ‘Norwegian Wood’ by Haruki Murakami Amazon Try one of these 1st paras & discover a new author:- ‘Brighton Rock’ by Graham Greene ‘In Cold Blood’ by Truman Capote ‘The Sense of an Ending’ by Julian Barnes And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet: NORWEGIAN WOOD by Haruki Murakami #books via @SandraDanby http://wp.me/p5gEM4-1xx
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Categories: Book Love and On Writing.

Great Opening Paragraph 72… ‘Nineteen Minutes’ #amwriting #FirstPara

By the time you read this, I hope to be dead. You can’t undo something that’s happened; you can’t take back a word that’s already been said out loud. You’ll think about me and wish that you had been able to talk me out of this. You’ll try to figure out what would have been the one right thing to say, to do. I guess I should tell you, Don’t blame yourself; this isn’t your fault, but that would be a lie. We both know that I didn’t get here by myself. ‘Nineteen Minutes’ by Jodi Picoult Amazon Try one of these 1st paras & discover a new author:- ‘Sacred Hearts’ by Sarah Dunant ‘The L-Shaped Room’ By Lynn Reid Banks ‘Bel Canto’ by Ann Patchett And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet: NINETEEN MINUTES by @jodipicoult #books http://wp.me/p5gEM4-1xt via @SandraDanby
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Categories: Book Love and On Writing.

Great Opening Paragraph 71… ‘Mara and Dann’ #amwriting #FirstPara

The scene that the child, then the girl, then the young woman tried so hard to remember was clear enough in its beginnings. She had been hustled – sometimes carried, sometimes pulled along by the hand – through a dark night, nothing to be seen but stars, and then she was pushed into a room and told, Keep quiet, and the people who had brought her disappeared. She had not taken notice of their faces, what they were, she was too frightened, but they were her people, the People, she knew that. The room was nothing she had known. It was a square, built of large blocks of rock. She was inside one of the rock houses. She had seen them all her life. The rock houses were where they lived, the Rock People, not her people, who despised them. She had often see the Rock People walking along the roads, getting quickly out of the way when they saw the People; but a dislike of them that she had been taught made it hard to look much at them. She was afraid of them, and thought them ugly. ‘Mara and Dann’ by Doris Lessing Amazon Try one of these 1st
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Categories: Book Love and On Writing.

Great opening paragraph 70… ‘Hard-Boiled Wonderland…’ #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:- ‘Slaughterhouse 5’ by Kurt Vonnegut Jr ‘Freedom’ by Jonathan Franzen ‘Lolita’ by Vladimir Nabokov   And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet: HARD-BOILED WONDERLAND AND THE END OF THE WORLD by Haruki Murakami #books http://wp.me/p5gEM4-1xl via @SandraDanby
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Categories: Book Love and On Writing.

Great Opening Paragraph 69… ‘I’ll Take You There’ #amwriting #FirstPara

“In those days in the early Sixties we were not women yet but girls. This was, without irony, perceived as our advantage.” ‘I’ll Take You There’ by Joyce Carol Oates Amazon Try one of these 1st paras & discover a new author:- ‘Tipping the Velvet’ by Sarah Waters ‘The Big Sleep’ by Raymond Chandler ‘Family Album’ by Penelope Lively And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet: I’LL TAKE YOU THERE by Joyce Carol Oates #books via @SandraDanby http://wp.me/p5gEM4-1xi
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Categories: Book Love and On Writing.

Great opening paragraph 68… ‘A Change of Climate’ #amwriting #FirstPara

“One day when Kit was ten years old, a visitor cut her wrists in the kitchen. She was just beginning on this cold, difficult form of death when Kit came in to get a glass of milk.” ‘A Change of Climate’ by Hilary Mantel Amazon Try one of these 1st paras & discover a new author:- ‘Dance Dance Dance’ by Haruki Murakami ‘The God of Small Things’ by Arundhati Roy ‘In Cold Blood’ by Truman Capote 12 And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet: A great 1st para: A CHANGE OF CLIMATE by Hilary Mantel #books via @SandraDanby http://wp.me/p5gEM4-10z
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Categories: Book Love and On Writing.

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  
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Categories: Book Love and On Writing.

Great Opening Paragraph 66… ‘Animal Farm’ #amwriting #FirstPara

“Mr Jones, of the Manor Farm, had locked the hen-houses for the night, but was too drunk to remember to shut the pop-holes. With the ring of light from his lantern dancing from side to side, he lurched across the yard, kicking off his boots at the back door, drew himself a last glass of beer from the barrel in the scullery, and made his way up to bed, where Mrs Jones was already snoring.” ‘Animal Farm’ by George Orwell Amazon Try one of these 1st paras & discover a new author:- ‘Queen Camilla’ by Sue Townsend ‘Middlesex’ by Jeffrey Eugenides ‘Herzog’ by Saul Bellow And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet: I want to read more: ANIMAL FARM by George Orwell #books via @SandraDanby http://wp.me/p5gEM4-kL
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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:
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