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Aurelyn
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 9:46 am    Post subject: Favourite first lines Reply with quote

First impressions and all that...

When I'm looking for something new to read, I often just browse the shelves and scan the first line or two of each book I pick up. When a book has a particularly good opening line it can grab you right there and is often indicative of whether you'll be into it or not. Thought I'd see if anyone has any particular favourites. Here's a couple of mine that have stuck in my head:

"The sky was the colour of television, tuned to a dead channel." Maybe my all time favourite, the opener of William Gibson's Neuromancer.

"It was the day my grandmother exploded." A brilliant start to a really enjoyable book, The Crow Road by Iain Banks.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Where are the Romulans?" Riker asked.
-Star Trek Titan: Taking Wing
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You wake up and you see a devil's sillouhette. At that moment, you know you're on that one show, the Haunting.

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Munan
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 5:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've always been bemused by this one, because it aims to shock so shamelessly:

When Daan Hollander, history teacher at the DataCare high school in Amsterdam, fucked fifth grade student Hajar Nait Sibaha for the first time, she kept her headscarf on - at his request.

It's from the Dutch book Hajar en Daan by Robert Anker, not translated into English as far as I know.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 5:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"It's cold... Cold and wet. But not the bad kind of wet... The kind that makes your skin feel oily and sticky. That's good. It makes you realise you're alive..."



The Maxx

An original animation from MTV.

Even cooler was just half a minute later in the movie, where a Girl gets robbed by two bums.

Maxx narrates:"They beat their victims and take their belongings, sometimes even to near death. This one time a girl was lucky and got away by running 3 blocks with a broken foot."
The small bum runs after a coin that is rolling towards the cardboard box Maxx lives in. Maxx grabs him and beats the shit out of him. The big guy hears the fight and walks towards the box with an evil grin, cracking his knuckles.
Maxx:"Yeah... Sometimes it's luck... But... Sometimes...
IT'S ME!!!"
*pops out of the box, revealing what a hulkish huge guy he really is*


None the less, the Tv version was good, and true to the comic, but left out a lot of the comic, due to it's nature being too violent, and containing sex.
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Sal



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 8:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

come on, no one has ever beat this opening line:
One morning, as Gregor Samsa was waking up from anxious dreams, he discovered that in bed he had been changed into a monstrous verminous bug. - of course Metamorphosis by Kafka. classics are classics for a reason.

and i wouldn't be myself if i didn't mention this:
We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold... - opening my beloved Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by HST.


and i loved The Maxx the MTv series. kept me practically on my toes throughout.
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Aurelyn
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Munan wrote:
When Daan Hollander, history teacher at the DataCare high school in Amsterdam, fucked fifth grade student Hajar Nait Sibaha for the first time, she kept her headscarf on - at his request.


Is the original prose so matter of fact?

Fear and Loathing was a superb novel, haven't picked it up in years tho..
Also, I'm ashamed to admit I've never read Metamorphosis. One of those books I've read loads about, but never got round to reading. I'll get there.
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Munan
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="Aurelyn"]
Munan wrote:
When Daan Hollander, history teacher at the DataCare high school in Amsterdam, fucked fifth grade student Hajar Nait Sibaha for the first time, she kept her headscarf on - at his request.


Is the original prose so matter of fact?

Yes it is. This is a literal translation. As far as I can judge, it has the same feeling in English as in Dutch.

Oh, and of course I agree with Sal. Best first line. Ever.
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Spock



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hunter S. Thompson is a freaking genius. I love what he said about Nixon and how he should have been castrated so he couldn't continue his corrupted bloodline.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"In the year 1830, I was unfortunately deprived of the use of reason."

The first line in Perceval's Narrative: A patient's account of his psychosis, 1830-1832.

Wonderful, wonderful stuff. Perhaps the first account of first-person experience of schizophrenia.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 11:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

January 2380

"It sure is hell to be president."
-Harry S Truman

Star Trek: Articles of the Federation
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Aurelyn
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2007 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cfos wrote:
"In the year 1830, I was unfortunately deprived of the use of reason."

The first line in Perceval's Narrative: A patient's account of his psychosis, 1830-1832.


Brilliant. And also matter of fact. Like the intro to Metamorphosis it takes something unusual or out of the ordinary and presents it as if it weren't. I wonder if that's a key ingredient of a good intro...
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why the hell wasn't The Restaurant at the End of the Universe mentioned yet?

The story so far:
In the beginning the Universe was created. This had made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

War. War never changes.
-Fallout

War, war, never changes...

And it can be really rather unpleasant. After the bomb had dropped, toilet paper and those funny little packets of soap that you find in hotel rooms became very difficult to find.

-Fallout: Tactics readme Razz
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Munan
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 7:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I still like "Call me Ishmael" a lot.

And: "Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed."

Both because they immediately grasp the reader's attention.
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Sal



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 7:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

where's the second one from? doesn't ring a bell.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You've got to be kidding me?

James Joyce. Ulysses.
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Sal



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 7:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i'm not kiddin you. i never got around to Ulysses and never will.

don't look at me like that, man, i feel stupid enough already.

but at least i knew the Moby Dick one...
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2007 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Kill them.......... Kill them all..."
-F.E.A.R.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2007 10:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sal wrote:
i'm not kiddin you. i never got around to Ulysses and never will.


Dude, what the fuck. He's the man. Like, the Man-man. And not like the Man-man on Andy Milanokis... that was just plain stupid...
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Sal



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ok, i don't know what you said just now, but sure, why not, go ahead.
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Aurelyn
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 9:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blue Elite wrote:
Sal wrote:
i'm not kiddin you. i never got around to Ulysses and never will.


Dude, what the fuck. He's the man. Like, the Man-man. And not like the Man-man on Andy Milanokis... that was just plain stupid...


Do you read much Joyce, then?
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2007 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man's and yet as mortal as his own; that as men busied themselves about their various concerns they were scrutinized and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scritinize the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water.

Also...

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 a hobbit-hole., and that means comfort.
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Sal



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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2007 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

nuff said.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2007 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sal wrote:
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

nuff said.


Nice...
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