(Jackson Street) Books on 7th is around the corner and on the internet tubes. We strive to be your full-service new and used bookstore, emphasizing good literature, progressive politics, and, of course, books about baseball. Opened in Hoquiam October 1, 2010

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

More Favorite First Lines

I knew I had these saved somewhere, just took me a while to find 'em. Any typos are mine.

When I finally caught up with Abraham Trehearne, he was drinking beer with an alcoholic bulldog named Fireball Roberts in a ramshackle joint just outside of Sonoma, California, drinking the heart right out of a fine Spring afternoon.
James Crumley, The Last Good Kiss

You're no angel, you know how this stuff comes to happen: Friday is payday and it's been a gray day sogged by a slow ugly rain and you seek company in your gloom, and since you're fresh to West Table, Mo., and a new hand at the dog-food factory, your choices for company are narrow but you find some finally in a trailer court on East Main, and the coed circle of bums gathered there spot you a beer, then a jug of tequila starts to rotate and the rain keeps comin' down with a miserable bluesy beat and there's two girls millin' about that probably can be had but they seem to like certain things and crank is one of those certain things, and a fistful of party straws tumble from a woven handbag somebody brung, the crank gets cut into lines, and the next time you notice the time it's three or four Sunday mornin' and you ain't slept since Thursday night and one of the girl voices, the one you want the most and ain't had yet though her teeth are the size of shoe-peg corn and look like maybe they'd taste kind of sour, suggests something to do, 'cause with crank you want something, anything, to do, and this cajoling voice suggests we all rob this certain house on this certain street in that rich area where folks can afford to wallow in their vices and likely to have a bunch of recreational dope stashed around the mansion and goin' to waste since an article in The Scroll said the rich people whisked off to France or some such on a note-worthy vacation.
Daniel Woodrell, Tomato Red

8 comments:

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dee said...

What novel is that from, CresceNet?

Dave von Ebers said...

Dan and Tammy:

I have an idea. Why not have a contest where folks have to guess where the famous first line comes from?

Here’d be my entry, if there were such a contest … though it might not be an altogether difficult one to figure out:

It was love at first sight.

The first time Yossarian saw the chaplain he fell madly in love with him.


(Oh, and by the way … one rule ya gotta have for any contest like this: No “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” or whatever.)

Cheers!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Catch-22, being Yossarian and all. Did I get suckered?

Everybody, now imagine a young Bob Dylan reading Tammy's latest entry aloud.

Anonymous D

SeattleTammy said...

I hope no-one clicks on the links, but Dee's comment was so funny we're letting the spam stay.

Now I have to go read Woodrell and imagine Dylan...

SeattleTammy said...

Here's another favorite, but it's several sentences, so I disqualified it from the "best opening line" meme.

"There was a desert wind blowing that night. It was one of those hot dry Santa Anas that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. On nights like that every booze party ends in a fight. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands' necks. Anything can happen. You can even get a full glass of beer at a cocktail lounge."

"Red Wind" Raymond Chandler

Oh yeah, Dylan rocks on the Woodrell!

Linkmeister said...

Read a thousand years ago and just picked up at the used book emporium for $0.95:

"Mr. Phileas Fogg lived, in 1872, at No. 7, Saville Row, Burlington Gardens, the house in which Sherwood died in 1814."

SeattleDan said...

Verne? Cool!