I really love looking at the beginnings of books (and this is not the first time on this blog), fascinated by the variety of styles and tones that greet you there. Some entice, some frighten, some bore, some beckon, some puzzle . . .
Here are a few beginnings pulled from books at hand, chosen randomly:
"I thought I'd been to Africa. Told all my class I had."
--Small Island, Andrea Levy
"Our house is old, and noisy, and full."
--Life Among the Savages, Shirley Jackson
"When the MS Irish Oak sailed from Cork in October 1949, we expected to be in New York City in a week."
--'Tis, Frank McCourt
"On a time there lived a king and a queen in Erin, and they had an only son."
--Myths and Folk Tales of Ireland, Jeremiah Curtin
"The candleflame and the image of the candleflame caught in the pierglass twisted and righted when he entered the hall and again when he shut the door."
--All the Pretty Horses, Cormac McCarthy
"The old bus is a city reject. After shaking in it for twelve hours on the potholed highway since early morning, you arrive in this mountain county town in the South."
--Soul Mountain, Gao Xingjian
Would any of these entice you in? Are you able to choose a favorite and a least-favorite among them?
“Maybe we’re here only to say: house, bridge, well, gate, jug, olive-tree, window--at most, pillar, tower--but to say them, remember, oh! to say them in a way that the things themselves never dreamed of so intensely.” --Rilke