I warned you this was coming. My recurring urge to examine first sentences was activated again when I picked up the dystopian novel White Horse by Alex Adams. This is the first book of a trilogy, and I enjoyed book one so much I will definitely read the next one.
Alex’s first sentence:
Look at me: I don’t want my therapist to think I’m crazy.
Why not, I thought. Isn’t that why she went to a therapist in the first place–because she thought she might be crazy? So I read on…and on. Good hook, Alex.
Rather than go on a serious search for outstanding first sentences, I decided to pick up four of the books piled on my coffee table to be read and see what turned up. Here they are:
Solving the following riddle will reveal the awful secret behind the universe, assuming you do not go utterly mad in the attempt.
———-Prologue to John Dies at the End by David Wong (I’m not sure, but I think this is a little bit horror and a little bit humor and maybe even more than that).
This wasn’t God’s country, or if it was, he and God didn’t agree on the definition.
———-In Dreams by Gary Sand (a story about people, much of it set in 50s and 60s Denver)
The higher you fly, the harder you fall–and the harder reality smacks you in the butt when you land.
———-Tall, Dark and Cowboy by Joanne Kennedy (cowboy romance)
“Tonight we’re going to show you eight silent ways to kill a man.”
———-The Forever War by Joe Haldeman (sci fi war novel)
You should have learned a little about about me from that list of quotes.
One, I read novels in all genres. I just need a good story and a couple of interesting characters and I’m in for the duration.
Two, first sentences fascinate me.
Three, I’m way, way behind in my reading because most of these books have been sitting on my coffee table for more than two months. At the moment, I’m taking a side trip to reread On the Beach by Nevil Shute. And Alex Adams and her White Horse novel are directly responsible. On the Beach was the first “end of the world” novel I ever read….and guess what? It doesn’t have a killer first sentence, but the story has stayed with me for over 50 years anyway.
Have you read On the Beach?