Thursday, October 25, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #15 - 13 start lines to 13 books

TT logo by Goofy Girl Designs

Opening lines... they're tough to write. They've gotta draw people in, set the tone and the style and perhaps even the theme. I was examining the start lines of a few books and was intrigued by their uniqueness.

Below find the first line or two from 11 novels, one diary, and one short story. If there was a preface, I skipped it and went to the first chapter.

I think you'll have heard of most of the authors (and perhaps many of the books), but it was hard to find well-known books whose first lines didn't give the book completely away. (like this one: "In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.")

Do you know what books these are from? I will post in the comment section as people guess them right. Personally, I think the hardest ones will be #11, #9, #7, and #5 - I picked them simply because I liked them, not because I thought anyone would guess them.

UPDATE
ANSWERS will be revealed as they are guessed

The TRUTH revealed by The Accidental Novelist

  1. It was a bright, defrosted, pussy-willow day at the onset of spring, and the newlyweds were driving cross-country in a large roast turkey. - Skinny Legs and All by Tom Robbins

  2. I can feel the heat closing in, feel them out there making their moves, setting up their devil doll stool pigeons, crooning over my spoon and dropper I throw away at Washington Square Station, vault a turnstile and two flights down the iron stairs, catch an uptown A train... (Naked Lunch guessed by Superfast Reader)

  3. "When your mama was the geek, my dreamlets," Papa would say, "she made the nipping off of noggins such a crystal mystery that the hens themselves yearned toward her, waltzing around her, hypnotized with longing. (Geek Love guessed by Megan)

  4. Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.
    (Anna Karenina - guessed by Superfast Reader)

  5. An Octopus? He pulled out his knife and opened his eyes, it was a dream. - Troubled Sleep by Jean-Paul Sartre

  6. Once when I was six years old I saw a magnificent picture in a book, called True Stories from Nature, about the primeval forest. It was a picture of a boa constrictor in the act of swallowing an animal. (The Little Prince guessed by Janet)

  7. There was no hope for him this time: it was his third stroke. (Dubliners by James Joyce - I should have counted this as a short story, too, I suppose)

  8. We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold. (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas guessed by Superfast Reader)

  9. The day had gone by just as days go by. I had killed it in accordance with my primitive and retiring way of life. - Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse

  10. Through the small tall bathroom window the December yard is gray and scratchy, the trees calligraphic. - A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers

  11. Ten thirty... once again I'm ready too soon. My friend Brague, who helped me when I first began acting in pantomimes, often takes me to task for this in that salty language of his... - The Vagabond by Colette

  12. The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could; but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge. ("The Cask of Amontillado" guessed by Susan Helene Gottfried)

  13. In Spring it is the dawn that is most beautiful. As the light creeps over the hills, their outlines are dyed a faint red and wisps or purplish cloud trail over them. (Hint - this is a famous diary, not a novel.) - The Pillow Book by Sei Shonagon
Have a great weekend everyone!

26 comments:

Wakela Runen said...

I have to admit you had me completely stumped on these.

Vicki said...

I don't know what books they're from. Great lines though so I can't wait to find out. :)

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

#12 is Poe -- Cask of Amontillado, I believe, and yes, I butchered the spelling; forgive me?

Yep, I'm *still* sick, but at least I had my flu shot yesterday. I think I'm finally over most of it. We shall see... Thanks for asking!

Ed said...

Great list. You stumped me across the board. I will have to check back.
Ed

annie said...

#4 is Anna Karenina

I think #8 is Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

I am guessing that #2 is William Burroughs' Junky

I am taking a wild guess that #5 is The Old Man and the Sea

Great list!

Danika / OpenChannel said...

Wakela, thanks for stopping by again.

Vicki, I wasn't sure how hard this would be for people. I guess it depends upon what you've read. Although, there were definitely some books I've never read that I still would have guessed what they were, simply because they are famous first lines or because there were characters names in them.

Danika / OpenChannel said...

Susan, you are correct. And you spelled it right. That's the only short story I included, from my beautifully bound Poe collection.

Thanks for stopping by, Ed!

Danika / OpenChannel said...

Hey Superfast. I knew if anyone could get them it would be you.

Yes on #4 (Anna Karenina)
Yes on #8 (Fear and Loathing)
You're good... #2 is Burroughs, but it's not Junky

And #5 - not even close. Although, to be fair, that's probably the hardest one and I doubt anyone will get it.

poodlerat said...

None of them for me; I'm totally stumped. Except for Anna Karenina, but Superfast already got that one.

Perhaps I'll steal you idea and do one over at my blog---it's been a long time since I did a T13.

julia said...

This is an excellent TT! Completely engrossing first lines. And none which I can take a guess at. But great quiz idea.

annie said...

Is #2 Naked Lunch?

Danika / OpenChannel said...

Ah, Poodlerat - I thought you'd at least get one of them! You've probably read half the books on this list.

(course, it's easy for me to talk, since I know the answers, haha)

Thanks for stopping by, Julia.

And, yes, score one more for Superfast.

Danika / OpenChannel said...

Heya Poodlerat, yes, you should do one too. I'll probably be just as stumped.

poodlerat said...

I did one over at my blog. It wasn't easy finding books people might recognize. It made me realize how many very new or fairly obscure books I own.

Thanks for the idea!

annie said...

I joined the fun, too.

Janet said...

#6. The Little Prince, by St-Exupery. I feel better now. I couldn't get any of Superfast Reader's.

Danika / OpenChannel said...

Yay - Annie! Everyone go check out Poodlerat and Superfast reader's first line challenge!

Janet - Yup! I thought someone would eventually get that one. :-)

Janet said...

Come see how you do with my list. I don't normally "do" memes, but this one I couldn't resist.

Janet said...

I have no idea where #3 comes from, but it is gross...

Danika / OpenChannel said...

Janet - I thought for sure someone would get #3 -- it's one of my top 10 books, which is a clue right there. :-)

1/2 the title is in the sentence.

Megan said...

I know #3! It's Geek Love by Katherine Dunn. A great book...twisted, yes, but also great!

What a fun TT!

Danika / OpenChannel said...

Yes, Megan, you are correct on all accounts.

Eva said...

Thanks for visiting me! I hadn't realised you started the game. :) Fun! I knew Anna Karenina,Fear and Loathing, and The Little Prince, but I haven't even heard of some of the others!

Danika / OpenChannel said...

Hi Eva -

Thanks. It was so much fun I almost want to do it again.

Perhaps I'll do last lines, like Poodlerat.

Janet said...

Hmm, I had actually read a couple of those. Although, in my defense, I'd read Hesse in German. That's my excuse, anyway. I think I'll wait a day or two before I reveal all the rest of mine; I started a couple of days late.

annie said...

I like the last lines idea...