Archives for first paragraph

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.

Great Opening Paragraph 46… ‘After You’d Gone’ #amwriting #FirstPara

“The day she would try to kill herself, she realised winter was coming again. She had been lying on her side, her knees drawn up; she’d sighed. And the heat of her breath had vaporised in the cold air of the bedroom. She pushed the air out of her longs again, watching. Then she did it again, and again. Then she wrenched back the covers and got up. Alice hated winter.” ‘After You’d Gone’ by Maggie O’Farrell Amazon Try one of these 1st paras & discover a new author:- ‘The Collector’ by John Fowles ‘The Sense of an Ending’ by Julian Barnes ‘The God of Small Things’ by Arundhati Roy 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: AFTER YOU’D GONE by Maggie O’Farrell #books http://wp.me/p5gEM4-mP via @SandraDanby
Read More

Categories: Book Love and On Writing.

Great opening paragraph 45… ‘The Secret Agent’ #amwriting #FirstPara

“Mr Verloc, going out in the morning, left his shop nominally in charge of his brother-in-law. It could be done, because there was very little business at any time, and practically none at all before the evening. Mr Verloc cared but little about his ostensible business. And moreover, his wife was in charge of his brother-in-law.” The Secret Agent, Joseph Conrad  Amazon Try one of these 1st paras & discover a new author:- ‘Jack Maggs’ by Peter Carey ‘Original Sin’ by PD James ‘The Heart is a Lonely Hunter’ by Carson McCullers 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 SECRET AGENT by Joseph Conrad #books http://wp.me/p5gEM4-eE via @SandraDanby
Read More

Categories: Book Love and On Writing.

Great opening paragraph 44… ‘The Hunger Games’ #amwriting #FirstPara

“When I wake up, the other side of the bed is cold. My fingers stretch out, seeking Prim’s warmth but finding only the rough canvas cover of the mattress. She must have had bad dreams and climbed in with our mother. Of course she did. This is the day of the reaping.” ‘The Hunger Games’ by Suzanne Collins Amazon Try one of these 1st paras & discover a new author:- ‘Brighton Rock’ by Graham Greene ‘The Last Tycoon’ by F Scott Fitzgerald ‘Tipping the Velvet’ by Sarah Waters 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 HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins #books http://wp.me/p5gEM4-eT via @SandraDanby
Read More

Categories: Book Love and On Writing.

Great Opening Paragraph 43… ‘The Crying of Lot 49’ #amwriting #FirstPara

“One summer afternoon Mrs Oedipa Maas came home from a Tupperware party whose hostess had put perhaps too much kirsch in the fondue to find that she, Oedipa, had been named executor, or she supposed, executrix, of the estate of one Pierce Inverarity, a California real estate mogul who had once lost two million dollars in his spare time but still had assets numerous and tangled enough to make the job of sorting it all out more than honorary. Oedipa stood in the living-room, stared at by the greenish dead eye of the TV tube, spoke the name of God, tried to feel as drunk as possible. But this did not work. She thought of a hotel room in Mazatlán whose door had just been slammed, it seemed forever, waking up two hundred birds down in the lobby, a sunrise over the library slope at Cornell University that nobody out on it had seen because the slope faces west; a dry, disconsolate tune from the fourth movement of the Bartók Concerto for Orchestra; a whitewashed bust of Jay Gould that Pierce kept over the bed on a shelf so narrow for it she’d always had the hovering fear it would
Read More

Categories: Book Love and On Writing.

Great Opening Paragraph 42… ‘The English Patient’ #amwriting #FirstPara

“She stands up in the garden where she has been working and looks into the distance. She has sensed a shift in the weather. There is another gust of wind, a buckle of noise in the air, and the tall cypresses sway. She turns and moves uphill towards the house, climbing over a low wall, feeling the first drops of rain on her bare arms. She crosses the loggia and quickly enters the house. In the kitchen she doesn’t pause but goes through it and climbs the stairs which are in darkness and then continues along the long hall, at the end of which is a wedge of light from an open door. She turns into the room which is another garden – this one made up of trees and bowers painted over its walls and ceiling. The man lies on the bed, his body exposed to the breeze, and he turns his head slowly towards her as she enters.” ‘The English Patient’ by Michael Ondaatje  Amazon Try one of these 1st paras & discover a new author:- ‘A Change of Climate’ by Hilary Mantel ‘A Farewell to Arms’ by Ernest Hemingway ‘The Sense of an Ending’ by Julian Barnes And
Read More

Categories: Book Love and On Writing.

Great Opening Paragraph 30… ‘The L-Shaped Room’ #amwriting #FirstPara

“There wasn’t much to be said for the place, really, but it had a roof over it and a door which locked from the inside, which was all I cared about just then. I didn’t even bother to take in the details – they were pretty sordid, but I didn’t notice them so they didn’t depress me; perhaps because I was already at rock-bottom. I just threw my one suitcase on to the bed, took my few belongings out of it and shut them all into one drawer of the three-legged chest of drawers. Then there didn’t seem to be anything else I ought to do so I sat in the arm-chair and stared out of the window.” ‘The L-Shaped Room’ by Lynn Reid Banks  Amazon Try one of these 1st paras & discover a new author:- ‘Perfume’ by Patrick Suskind ‘Time Will Darken It’ by William Maxwell ‘Mara and Dann’ by Doris Lessing 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 L-SHAPED ROOM by Lynne Reid Banks #books https://wp.me/p5gEM4-mV via @SandraDanby
Read More

Categories: Book Love and On Writing.

Great opening paragraph 3… ‘Herzog’ #amwriting #FirstPara

“If I am out of my mind, it’s all right with me, thought Moses Herzog.” ‘Herzog’ by Saul Bellow Amazon Try one of these 1st paras & discover a new author:- ‘Enduring Love’ by Ian McKewan ‘Lord of the Flies’ by William Golding ‘The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry’ by Rachel Joyce And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet: HERZOG by Saul Bellow http://wp.me/p5gEM4-4G via @SandraDanby #books
Read More

Categories: Book Love and On Writing.