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Novel first lines meme

Blame altariel. I usually don't do the meme thing, but this sounded like too much fun to miss.

1. Choose 10 of your all time favourite books.
2. Take the first sentence of the first chapter and make a list in your journal.
3. Don't reveal the author or the title of the book.
4. Now everyone try and guess.


Here goes:

1. There was no possibility of taking a walk that day.
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
guessed by randomalia and greenhoodloxley


2. It was predictable, in hindsight.
The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell
guessed by roo2


3. Lest anyone should suppose I am a son of nobody, sold off by some peasant father in a drought year, I may say our line is an old one, though it ends with me.

4. A beginning is the time for taking the most delicate care that the balances are correct.
Dune by Frank Herbert
guessed by estellye


5. Brother Francis Gerard of Utah might never have discovered the blessed documents, had it not been for the pilgrim with girded loins who appeared during that young novice's Lenten fast in the desert.
A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller, Jr.</i>
novel guessed by beledibabe
novel and author guessed by roo2


6. Mr. Dunworthy opened the door to the laboratory and his spectacles promptly steamed up.
The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis
guessed by roo2


7. I see in Lunaya Pravda that Luna City Council has passed on first reading a bill to examine, license, inspect -- and tax -- public food vendors operating inside municipal pressure.
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein
novel guessed by ltlj
novel and author guessed by guessed by roo2


8. One minute it was Ohio winter, with doors closed, windows locked, the panes blind with frost, icicles fringing every roof, children skiing on slopes, housewives lumbering like great black bears in their furs along the icy streets.

9. The row of comconsole booths lining the passenger concourse of Escobar's largest commercial orbital transfer station had mirrored doors, divided into diagonal sections by rainbow-colored lines of lights.
Mirror Dance by Lois McMaster Bujold
guessed by ltlj


10. The night before he went to London, Richard Mayhew was not enjoying himself.
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
guessed by roo2 and terrylj



And two bonus ones, both short stories instead of novels:

11. There was a village once, not very long ago for those with long memories, not very far away for those with long legs.

12. West of Arkham the hills rise wild, and there are valleys with deep woods that no axe has ever cut.
"The Colour Out of Space" by H.P. Lovecraft
guessed by roo2



Also, it is wonderful to see agentxpndble in LJ-land. Welcome! Check out her two terrific websites:






For the quote of the day, a first line that didn't make the above list, because I thought it was a dead giveaway:

"It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen."
-George Orwell, 1984

Comments

( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
beledibabe
Apr. 16th, 2005 11:12 pm (UTC)
Argh! The only one that readily comes to mind is #5: Canticle for Leibowitz.
eldritchhobbit
Apr. 16th, 2005 11:51 pm (UTC)
You got it! :)
roo2
Apr. 16th, 2005 11:29 pm (UTC)
Okay, I know some of these! Go me!

#5 is A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter Miller. I love that book!

#6 is from Doomsday Book by Connie Willis. Another favorite. I recognized Dunworthy's name because I recently sent the book to my SIL for a birthday present and almost got sucked into re-reading it yet again. I read the first few chapters and reluctantly put it down in favor of the unread books pile. I also love To Say Nothing of the Dog.

#7 is The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein. I loved it the first time I read it back in high school, but when I re-read it in college I felt that it had a good setup and good world-building, but sort of spluttered out toward the end. I should probably read it again to see what I think now. But the speech pattern is a dead giveaway, as is the Lunaya Pravda.

#10 Richard Mayhew has to be the Richard Mayhew from Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere. Neil Gaiman is a god. And another book that was just sent to the SIL for her birthday :-)

#12 is obviously Lovecraft. Must dash to Lovecraft shelf and pull down books madly. I'm thinking perhaps....yup, I was right. "The Colour Out of Space", a perennial favorite. Have you ever seen the awful movie adaptation from the mid-1980's?

#2 I cheated on. I remembered you mentioned The Sparrow recently, so I fetched my copy and saw that it matched #2 :-) I read it over Christmas a few years ago and absolutely loved it, then went out immediately and bought the sequel and never got around to reading it. I'll have to re-read The Sparrow before reading the second one. And if there's a third book, please don't tell me :-)

Feeling very smart and well-read now.



eldritchhobbit
Apr. 16th, 2005 11:55 pm (UTC)
Wow! You rule! Do you get the impression that our libraries might look rather similar?

"The Colour Out of Space", a perennial favorite. Have you ever seen the awful movie adaptation from the mid-1980's?

Believe it or not, I haven't, though I seem to have caught just about every other HPL adaptation out there. So it's as bad as all that, is it? Yikes!

I read it over Christmas a few years ago and absolutely loved it, then went out immediately and bought the sequel and never got around to reading it.

I do like Children of God, too, very much, though there's only one The Sparrow. Her new book is unrelated, so no more sequels, at least not yet! :)

Feeling very smart and well-read now.

LOL! So am I, thanks to you! Thanks for "playing"! :)
roo2
Apr. 18th, 2005 01:12 am (UTC)
Wow! You rule! Do you get the impression that our libraries might look rather similar?


Do you have books stacked on the floor that are used as furniture? :-) My honey and I are both book addicts, and we've reached the point where we're not only out of bookshelf space but places to put bookshelves. We even have shelves in the attic. But I lean toward SF/F/horror, especially classic stories. It seems like too many modern works are way too derivative or cliched, but when I find an original writer who I like, I glomp on to them. Connie Willis is a favorite, along with Neil Gaiman and Charles DeLint. For years I adored Sheri S. Tepper, but some of her recent works have felt way too strident to me and have left me cold, which is a big disappointment for me. It's even worse because I often agree with with what she has to say, I just get my hackles up at the way she chooses to say it. I feel like I'm being beaten upside the head when I read some of her work, and it's left me wary of going back and re-reading some of her earlier work for fear that I won't enjoy it so much.

"The Colour Out of Space", a perennial favorite. Have you ever seen the awful movie adaptation from the mid-1980's?

Believe it or not, I haven't, though I seem to have caught just about every other HPL adaptation out there. So it's as bad as all that, is it? Yikes!


Keep in mind that I caught it on cable circa 1990 or so, so it's been a long time since I've seen it. Also keep in mind that it starred Wil "Wesley Crusher" Wheaton. I found it bad, but in that 'so bad it's actually kind of fun' sort of way, if you know what I mean. Then again, I love cheesy horror movies, so your mileage may vary. It was called "The Curse", and hey, the IMDB says John Schneider was in it! Cool! Too bad it's not available on DVD and the VHS is long out of print. It was way better (IMO) than the godawful adaptation of The Dunwich Horror, if you ever suffered through that, but not nearly as much fun as the Jeffrey Combs movies. It was very much a Joe Bob Briggs kind of movie.
eldritchhobbit
Apr. 18th, 2005 05:20 pm (UTC)
Yes indeed, this does sound familiar! :)

I lean toward SF/F/horror, especially classic stories. It seems like too many modern works are way too derivative or cliched, but when I find an original writer who I like, I glomp on to them. Connie Willis is a favorite, along with Neil Gaiman

Ah, we're definitely kindred souls!

Your description of "The Curse" now makes me want to search it out, for the "so bad it's almost good" kind of laughs. :) I do adore, in a perverse way, the Jeffrey Combs movies. I love JC anyway, but some are so tongue-in-cheek that you can't help but laugh with them. (The original Re-Animator, for instance.) And I'll admit that Castle Freak has a soft spot in my heart. I can't help it! :)
ltlj
Apr. 16th, 2005 11:30 pm (UTC)
7. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress? That's a wild guess.

9. Mirror Dance? I know it's a Bujold.
eldritchhobbit
Apr. 16th, 2005 11:55 pm (UTC)
Yes to both! ::applause:: Thanks so much!
terrylj
Apr. 16th, 2005 11:39 pm (UTC)
I only know #10--Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman.
eldritchhobbit
Apr. 16th, 2005 11:56 pm (UTC)
You got it!
randomalia
Apr. 16th, 2005 11:54 pm (UTC)
1. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte?

There's some fabulous first lines in that list!
eldritchhobbit
Apr. 16th, 2005 11:59 pm (UTC)
Right you are! :) Thank you!

There's some fabulous first lines in that list!

Thanks! :):):)
greenhoodloxley
Apr. 16th, 2005 11:55 pm (UTC)

Number one is Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.

I would guessed on Neverwhere but others beat me to it. :)
eldritchhobbit
Apr. 16th, 2005 11:58 pm (UTC)
Right you are! :) Thanks!
fungus_files
Apr. 17th, 2005 12:12 am (UTC)
I'm a complete ignoramus and that's a great list. :)

will definitely check back to find out where #3 comes from as it sounds shivery great just from that line. and this: "housewives lumbering like great black bears in their furs along the icy streets" - most excellent image!
eldritchhobbit
Apr. 17th, 2005 07:17 pm (UTC)
LOL! Thanks!

Oh, #3 is brilliant (as are all the books by that author, though #3 is a favorite). So glad you like the description in #8. Parts of that book utterly undo me.

At this point, nine down, three to go!
estellye
Apr. 17th, 2005 07:09 pm (UTC)
LOL! 4. is Dune, by Frank Herbert ;)

I read and unsuccessfully tried to guess yours before I did my own! Guess its time for a re-read!

BTW, I love the Medieaval Baebes!
eldritchhobbit
Apr. 17th, 2005 07:15 pm (UTC)
LOL! Thanks! Great minds think alike! :-D I can't wait to see what the rest of yours turn out to be.

Aren't the MB awesome? I only discovered them a couple of years ago (thanks to thrihyrne, and now I am utterly hooked.
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )

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