Archives for first paragraphs

Great Opening Paragraph 41… ‘The Heart is a Lonely Hunter’ #amwriting #FirstPara

“In the town there were two mutes, and they were always together. Early every morning they would come out from the house where they lived and walk arm in arm down the street to work. The two friends were very different. The one who always steered the way was an obese and dreamy Greek. In the summer he would come out wearing a yellow or green polo shirt stuffed sloppily into his trousers in front and hanging loose behind. When it was colder he wore over this a shapeless grey sweater. His face was round and oily, with half-closed eyelids and lips that curved in a gently, stupid smile. The other mute was tall. His eyes had a quick, intelligent expression. He was always immaculate and very soberly dressed.” ‘The Heart is a Lonely Hunter’ by Carson McCullers  Amazon Try one of these 1st paras & discover a new author:- ‘Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant’ by Anne Tyler ‘Astonishing Splashes of Colour’ by Clare Morrall ‘Sacred Hearts’ by Sarah Dunant 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 HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER
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Categories: Book Love and On Writing.

Great opening paragraph 40… ‘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:- ‘Room’ by Emma Donoghue ‘Lolita’ by Vladimir Nabokov ‘A Passage to India’ by EM Forster 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: NORWEGIAN WOOD by Haruki Murakami #books https://wp.me/p5gEM4-lW via @SandraDanby
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Categories: Book Love and On Writing.

Great Opening Paragraph 39… ‘The God of Small Things’ #amwriting #FirstPara

“May in Ayemenem is a hot, brooding month. The days are long and humid. The river shrinks and black crows gorge on bright mangoes in still, dustgreen trees. Red bananas ripen. Jackfruits burst. Dissolute bluebottles hum vacuously in the fruity air. Then they stun themselves against clear windowpanes and die, fatly baffled in the sun.” ‘The God of Small Things’ by Arundhati Roy Amazon Try one of these 1st paras & discover a new author:- ‘Spies’ by Michael Frayn ‘Far From the Madding Crowd’ by Thomas Hardy ‘American Psycho’ by Brett Easton Ellis 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 GOD OF SMALL THINGS by Arundhati Roy #books https://wp.me/p5gEM4-n7 via @SandraDanby
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Categories: Book Love and On Writing.

Great Opening Paragraph 38… ‘A Severed Head’ #amwriting #FirstPara

“’You’re sure she doesn’t know?’ said Georgie. ‘Antonia? About us? Certain.’ Georgie was silent for a moment and then said, ‘Good.’ That curt ‘Good’ was characteristic of her, typical of a toughness which had, to my mind, more to do with honesty than with ruthlessness. I liked the dry way in which she accepted our relationship. Only with a person so eminently sensible could I have deceived my wife.” ‘A Severed Head’ by Iris Murdoch  Amazon Try these other 1st paras by Iris Murdoch:- ‘The Sea The Sea’ ‘The Philosopher’s Pupil’ And read about the first edition of The Sea The Sea, first published by Chatto & Windus in 1978. Try one of these 1st paras & discover a new author:- ‘Nineteen Minutes’ by Jodi Picoult ‘1984’ by George Orwell ‘The Cement Garden’ by Ian McEwan 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: A SEVERED HEAD by Iris Murdoch #books https://wp.me/p5gEM4-ml via @SandraDanby
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Categories: Book Love and On Writing.

Great Opening Paragraph 37… ‘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:- ‘A Farewell to Arms’ by Ernest Hemingway ‘Tipping the Velvet’ by Sarah Waters ‘The Collector’ by John Fowles 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: I’LL TAKE YOU THERE by Joyce Carol Oates #books https://wp.me/p5gEM4-mM via @SandraDanby
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Categories: Book Love and On Writing.

Great Opening Paragraph 36… ‘The Bell Jar’ #amwriting #FirstPara

“It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn’t know what I was doing in New York. I’m stupid about executions. The idea of being electrocuted makes me sick, and that’s all there was to read about in the papers – goggle-eyed headlines staring up at me on every street corner and at the fusty, peanut-selling mouth of every subway. It had nothing to do with me, but I couldn’t help wondering what it would be like, being burned alive all along your nerves.” ‘The Bell Jar’ by Sylvia Plath Amazon Try one of these 1st paras & discover a new author:- ‘Freedom’ by Jonathan Franzen ‘The Secret Agent’ by Joseph Conrad ‘After You’d Gone’ by Maggie O’Farrell 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 BELL JAR by Sylvia Plath #books https://wp.me/p5gEM4-n1 via @SandraDanby
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Categories: Book Love and On Writing.

Great Opening Paragraph 35… ‘Room’ #amwriting #FirstPara

“Today I’m five. I was four last night going to sleep in Wardrobe, but when I wake up in Bed in the dark I’m changed to five, abracadabra. Before that I was three, then two, then one, then zero. ‘Was I minus numbers?’” ‘Room’ by Emma Donoghue  Amazon Read my review of Frog Music by Emma Donoghue. Try one of these 1st paras & discover a new author:- ‘The Heart is a Lonely Hunter’ by Carson McCullers ‘Family Album’ by Penelope Lively ‘These Foolish Things’ by Deborah Moggach 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: ROOM by @EDonoghueWriter #books https://wp.me/p5gEM4-kw via @SandraDanby
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Categories: Book Love and On Writing.

Great Opening Paragraph 34… ‘Lolita’ #amwriting #FirstPara

“Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta.” ‘Lolita’ by Vladimir Nabokov Amazon Try one of these 1st paras & discover a new author:- ‘The Inheritance of Loss’ by Kiran Desai ‘Notes on a Scandal’ by Zoe Heller ‘Bel Canto’ by Ann Patchett And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet: An iconic 1st para which makes me want to read more: LOLITA by Vladimir Nabokov #books https://wp.me/p5gEM4-kO via @SandraDanby
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Categories: Book Love and On Writing.

Great opening paragraph 33… ‘The Sense of an Ending’ #amwriting #FirstPara

“I remember, in no particular order: – a shiny inner wrist; – steam rising from a wet sink as a hot frying pan is laughingly tossed into it; – gouts of sperm circling a plughole before being sluiced own the full length of a tall house; – a river rushing nonsensically upstream, its wave and wash lit by half a dozen chasing torchbeams; – another river, broad and grey, the direction of its flow disguised by a stiff wind exciting the surface; – bathwater long gone cold behind a locked door. This last isn’t something I actually saw, but what you end up remembering isn’t always the same as what you have witnessed.” ‘The Sense of an Ending’ by Julian Barnes Amazon Read my review of The Noise of Time by Julian Barnes. Try one of these 1st paras & discover a new author:- ‘Super-Cannes’ by JG Ballard ‘Bridget Jones’ Diary’ by Helen Fielding ‘In Cold Blood’ by Truman Capote 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 SENSE OF AN ENDING by Julian Barnes #books https://wp.me/p5gEM4-nE via @SandraDanby
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Categories: Book Love and On Writing.

Great opening paragraph 32… ‘That They May Face the Rising Sun’ #write

“The morning was clear. There was no wind on the lake. There was also a great stillness. When the bells rang out for Mass, the strokes trembling on the water, they had the entire world to themselves.” ‘That They May Face the Rising Sun’ by John McGahern Amazon Try one of these 1st paras & discover a new author:- ‘The Crying of Lot 49’ by Thomas Pynchon ‘The Fortunes of War’ by Olivia Manning ‘The Impressionist’ by Hari Kunzru 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: THAT THEY MAY FACE THE RISING SUN by John McGahern #books https://wp.me/p5gEM4-mo via @SandraDanby
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Categories: Book Love and On Writing.

Great Opening Paragraph 31… ‘Bel Canto’ #amwriting #FirstPara

“When the lights went off the accompanist kissed her. Maybe he had been turning towards her just before it was completely dark, maybe he was lifting his hands. There must have been some movement, a gesture, because every person in the living room would later remember a kiss. They did not see a kiss, that would have been impossible. The darkness that came on them was startling and complete. Not only was everyone there certain of a kiss, they claimed they could identify the type of kiss: it was strong and passionate, and it took her by surprise. They were all looking right at her when the lights went out. They were still applauding, each on his or her feet, still in the fullest throes of hands slapping together, elbows up. Not one person had come anywhere close to tiring. The Italians and the French were yelling, ‘Brava! Brava!’ and the Japanese turned away from them. Would he have kissed her like that had the room been lit? Was his mind so full of her that in the very instant of darkness he reached for her, did he think so quickly? Or was it that they wanted her too, all
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Categories: Book Love and On Writing.

Great opening paragraph 20… ‘Notes on a Scandal’ #amwriting #FirstPara

“1 March 1998. The other night at dinner, Sheba talked about the first time that she and the Connolly boy kissed. I had heard most of it before, of course, there being few aspects of the Connolly business that Sheba has not described to me several times over. But this time round, something new came up. I happened to ask her if anything about the first embrace had surprised her. She laughed. Yes, the smell of the whole thing had been surprising, she said. She hadn’t anticipated his personal odour and if she had, she would probably have guessed at something teenagey: bubble gum, cola, feet.” ‘Notes on a Scandal’ by Zoe Heller  Amazon Try one of these 1st paras & discover a new author:- ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’ by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche ‘I’ll Take You There’ by Joyce Carol Oates ‘Death in Summer’ by William Trevor And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet: A #FirstPara which makes me want to read more: NOTES ON A SCANDAL by Zoe Heller #amwriting http://wp.me/p5gEM4-84 via @SandraDanby
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Categories: Book Love and On Writing.

Great opening paragraph 19… ‘Catch-22’ #amwriting #FirstPara

“It was love at first sight. The first time Yossarian saw the chaplain he fell madly in love with him.” ‘Catch-22’ by Joseph Heller  Amazon Try one of these 1st paras & discover a new author:- ‘Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World’ by Haruki Murakami ‘The Philosopher’s Pupil’ 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 #FirstPara which makes me want to read more: CATCH-22 by Joseph Heller #amwriting http://wp.me/p5gEM4-fc via @SandraDanby
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Categories: Book Love and On Writing.

Great opening paragraph 18… ‘The Ghost Road’ #amwriting #FirstPara

“In deck-chairs all along the front the bald pink knees of Bradford businessmen nuzzled the sun.” ‘The Ghost Road’ by Pat Barker, #1 Regeneration Trilogy  Amazon Try one of these 1st paras & discover a new author:- ‘Rebecca’ by Daphne du Maurier ‘The Murder Room’ by PD James ‘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: A #FirstPara which makes me want to read more: THE GHOST ROAD by Pat Barker  #amwriting http://wp.me/p5gEM4-ev via @SandraDanby
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Categories: Book Love and On Writing.

Great opening paragraph 17… ‘The Hobbit’ #amwriting #FirstPara

“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit hole, and that means comfort.” ‘The Hobbit’ by JRR Tolkien  Amazon Try one of these 1st paras & discover a new author:- ‘A Bouquet of Barbed Wire’ by Andrea Newman ‘The Guest Cat’ by Takashi Hiraide ‘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 #FirstPara which makes me want to read more: THE HOBBIT by JRR Tolkien #amwriting http://wp.me/p5gEM4-gZ via @SandraDanby
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Categories: Book Love.

Great opening paragraph 16… ‘The Other Boleyn Girl’ #amwriting #FirstPara

“Spring 1521. I could hear a roll of muffled drums. But I could see nothing but the lacing on the bodice of the lady standing in front of me, blocking my view of the scaffold. I had been at this court for more than a year and attended hundreds of festivities; but never before one like this.” ‘The Other Boleyn Girl’ by Philippa Gregory  Amazon Try one of these 1st paras & discover a new author:- ‘The Cement Garden’ by Ian McEwan ‘Midnight’s Children’ by Salman Rushdie ‘Herzog’ by Saul Bellow And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet: A #FirstPara which makes me want to read more: THE OTHER BOLEYN GIRL by @PhilippaGBooks #amwriting http://wp.me/p5gEM4-eI via @SandraDanby
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Categories: Book Love and On Writing.

Great opening paragraph 15… ‘Spies’ #amwriting #FirstPara

“The third week of June, and there it is again: the same almost embarrassingly familiar breath of sweetness that comes every year about this time. I catch it on the warm evening air as I walk past the well-ordered gardens in my quiet street, and for a moment I’m a child again and everything’s before me – all the frightening, half-understood promise of life.” ‘Spies’ by Michael Frayn  Amazon Try one of these 1st paras & discover a new author:- ‘Brighton Rock’ by Graham Greene ‘In Cold Blood’ by Truman Capote ‘The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle’ by Haruki Murakami And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet: A #FirstPara which makes me want to read more: SPIES by Michael Frayn #amwriting http://wp.me/p5gEM4-61 via @SandraDanby
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Categories: Book Love and On Writing.

Great opening paragraph 14… ‘Rebecca’ #amwriting #FirstPara

“Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again. It seemed to me I stood by the iron gate leading to the drive, and for a while I could not enter, for the way was barred to me. There was a padlock and a chain upon the gate. I called in my dream to the lodge-keeper, and had no answer, and peering closer through the rusted spokes of the gate I saw that the lodge was uninhabited.” ‘Rebecca’ Daphne du Maurier  Amazon Try one of these 1st paras & discover a new author:- ‘Sacred Hearts’ by Sarah Dunant ‘The Sea The Sea’ by Iris Murdoch ‘True Grit’ by Charles Portis And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet: A #FirstPara which makes me want to read more: REBECCA by Daphne du Maurier #amwriting http://wp.me/p5gEM4-8c via @SandraDanby
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Categories: Book Love and On Writing.

Great opening paragraph 13… ‘Bridget Jones’s Diary’ #amwriting #FirstPara

“Sunday 1 January. 9st 3 [but post-Christmas], alcohol units 14 [but effectively covers 2 days as 4 hours of party was on New Year’s Day], cigarettes 22, calories 5424.” ‘Bridget Jones’s Diary’ by Helen Fielding Amazon Try one of these 1st paras & discover a new author:- ‘Moon Tiger’ by Penelope Lively ‘Freedom’ by Jonathan Franzen ‘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: A #FirstPara which makes me want to read more: BRIDGET JONES’S DIARY by Helen Fielding #amwriting http://wp.me/p5gEM4-7S via @SandraDanby
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Categories: Book Love and On Writing.

Great opening paragraph 12… ‘In Cold Blood’ #amwriting #FirstPara

“The village of Holcomb stands on the high wheat plains of western Kansas, a lonesome area that other Kansans call ‘out there’. Some seventy miles east of the Colorado border, the countryside, with its hard blue skies and desert clear air, has an atmosphere that is rather more Far West than Middle West. The local accent is barbed with a prairie twang, ranch-hand nasalness, and the men, many of them, wear narrow frontier trousers, Stetsons, and high-heeled boots with pointed toes. The land is flat, and the views are awesomely extensive; horses, herds of cattle, a white cluster of grain elevators rising as gracefully as Greek temples are visible long before a traveller reaches them.” ‘In Cold Blood’ by Truman Capote  Amazon Try one of these 1st paras & discover a new author:- ‘Fortunes of War’ by Olivia Manning ‘Far from the Madding Crowd’ by Thomas Hardy ‘Divisadero’ by Michael Ondaatje And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet: A #FirstPara which makes me want to read more: IN COLD BLOOD by Truman Capote #amwriting http://wp.me/p5gEM4-7C via @SandraDanby
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Categories: Book Love and On Writing.