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10 things I...

10 first lines of books I like, some of them not so great first lines... starting with my absolute favourite first line ever

It was the day my grandmother exploded. I sat quietly in the crematorium, listening to my Uncle Hamish snoring in harmony to Bach's Mass in A Minor, and I reflected that it always seemed to be death that drew me back to Gallanach. THE CROW ROAD, Iain Banks

I feel a bit shallow compared to the rest of you, who have chosen works of great literachoore, but I like these. I've tried to avoid copying anyone else. And there's a bit of lit in there, but hopefully it's not catching.



When the girl came rushing up the steps, I decided she was wearing far too many clothes THE SILVER PIGS, Lindsey Davis

I'm Jared, a ghost GIRLFRIEND IN A COMA, Douglas Coupland

This is a true story, but I can't believe it's really happening.
It's a murder story, too. I can't believe my luck.
LONDON FIELDS, Martin Amis

Brady wanted a real gun, he insisted on a real gun, the big meathead bounced up and banged on the table with hiss big meatball fists and roared he was out if he didn't get a real fucking gun. A WHITE MERC WITH FINS, James Hawes

On the desk in front of me lie two human hands. They are alive but perfectly still. A LANDING ON THE SUN, Michael Frayn

The beginning is simple to mark. We were in sunlight under a turkey oak, partly protected froma strong gusty wind. I was kneeling on the grass with a corkscrew in my hand and Clarissa was passing me the bottle -- a 1987 Daumas Gassac. This was the moment, this was the pinprick on the time map: I was stretching out my hand, and as the cool neck and black foil touched my palm, we heard the man's shout ENDURING LOVE, Ian McEwan

Dr Iannis had enjoyed a satisfactory day in which none of his patients had died or got any worse CAPT. CORELLI'S MANDOLIN Louis de Bernieres

"Jesus fuck." Inspector McGregor wished there was some kind of official crime scenario checklist, just so he could have a quick glance and confirm that he *had* seen it all now QUITE UGLY ONE MORNING Christopher Brookmyre

I wanted to do Wyrd Sisters as well but I've lost the bloody book somewhere.



* * *

Re: corianderstem and copygirl insulting Shania Twain: count me in.

Shania Twain has hired two bhangra producers from London to remix her last album -- not because she is excited about the possibilities inherent in that musical form, but because the Indian middle class is some 30 million-strong.

I dislike musicians who are so nakedly doing it for the money. I don't mind a little greed so long as they love what they're doing.

I think that's why so much gangster rap leaves me colder than last week's lasagne. I don't care how many cars you have, or guns, or jewels.

And J. Lo, with regard to your keeping it real, and staying grounded as the amounts roll in?

Shut up, you irritating tart.

* * *

after musesfool Great first lines / verses of songs. (I cheated) I also didn't go back in time much. The earliest song is 80s, I think

It's weird how in so many great songs, the first line aint that great. For example, Made of Stone by the Stone Roses is great because of the chorus.

Some songs have crap lyrics. I know that goes without saying, but there are some bands whose music I like, but whose lyrics are diabolical. Oasis, for example, whose early stuff I like a lot.



1) Love, love is a verb, Love is a doing word, Fearless on my breath/ Gentle impulsion, Shakes me makes me lighter, Fearless on my breath Teardrop, Massive Attack

2) "You were working as a waitress in a cocktail bar when I met you/ I picked you out, I shook you up, and turned you around/ Turned you into someone new" Don't You Want Me, Human League

3) When I counted up my demons, Saw there was one for everyday. With the good ones on my shoulder, I drove the other ones away./ So if you ever feel neglected, And if you think all is lost, I'llbe counting up my demons, yeah, Hoping everything's not lost. Everything's Not Lost, Coldplay

4) Well, I went to the doctor I said, "I'm feeling kind of rough" / "Let me break it to you, son. Your shit's fucked up." / I said, "my shit's fucked up? Well, I don't see how--" /He said, "The shit that used to work-- It won't work now." My Shit's Fucked Up, Warren Zevon (sigh)


5) You spurn my natural emotions, you make me feel like dirt, and I'm hurt/But if I cause a commotion, I'll only end up losing you and that's worse Ever Fallen in Love, Buzzcocks

6) We are late like a midnight train that’s running nowhere/ We are sticks we are stones we are broken bones we are hot air/ We are under the guillotine trying to fix our hair Inverigo, Thea Gilmore

7) You wake up to the sound of alarms and you're driving your fabulous car  / Listening to the music that reminds you You used to be young End of the World News, Tom McRae

8) A heart that's full up like a landfill, a job that slowly kills you, bruises that won't heal. No Surprises, Radiohead

9) Is it worth it? A new winter coat and shoes for the wife and a bicycle on the boy's birthday/ It's just a rumour that was spread around town by the women and children/ Soon we'll be shipbuilding
Shipbuilding, Elvis Costello. Best. Anti-war song. Ever.

10) All men have secrets and here is mine so let it be known/ we have been through hell and high tide; I can surely rely on you/ and yet you start to recoil, heavy words are so lightly thrown/but I'd still leap in front of a flying bullet for you What Difference Does it Make? The Smiths

Wow, I like some depressing songs. And I could go on forever, but best not.


Maybe one more...

11) I once met a man with a sense of adventure / He was dressed to thrill wherever he went/ He said "Let's make love on a mountain top, under the stars on a big hard rock"/ I said "In these shoes? I don't think so" In these Shoes? Kirsty MacColl

* * *

And finally, a fabulous quote:

The truth is that even big collections of ordinary books distort space, as can be readily proved by anyone who has been around a really old-fashioned secondhand bookshop, one of those that look as though they were designed by M. Escher on a bad day and has more staircases than storeys and those rows of shelves which end in little doors that are surely too small for a full-sized human to enter. The relevant equation is: Knowledge = power = energy = matter = mass; a good bookshop is just a genteel Black Hole that knows how to read.
Pterry. Guards, Guards!

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( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
angstville
Jan. 30th, 2003 06:51 pm (UTC)
Marry me a little
11) I once met a man with a sense of adventure / He was dressed to thrill wherever he went/ He said "Let's make love on a mountain top, under the stars on a big hard rock"/ I said "In these shoes? I don't think so" In these Shoes? Kirsty MacColl

I ADORE this song. How is the rest of her stuff? I've only ever heard this song which I got on a mix cd from a friend with great taste in musak. *g*

In these shoes? I don't think so.<--brilliant!
infinitemonkeys
Jan. 30th, 2003 07:30 pm (UTC)
Re: Marry me a little
How is the rest of her stuff?

Almost uniformly brilliant. Witty lyrics, interesting music. It's a shame she never got the success she deserved.

She also sang backing vocals on a bunch of excellent records -- and she was also the person who sequenced U2's The Joshua Tree

(apparently Bono and The Edge were umming and ahhing over it and she said "Oh for Pete's sake, it's obvious" and drew up the running order in half an hour)v
corianderstem
Jan. 31st, 2003 12:30 pm (UTC)
Re: Marry me a little
As if I didn't already like her ... *g*

I love that mix CD you made for me -- thank you again for all the fabulous music you've sent me and introduced me to in the past few years. Mwah!
cofax7
Jan. 30th, 2003 07:53 pm (UTC)
Re: Marry me a little
Kirsty MacColl was brilliant. If you have Kazaa, download "Fairytale in New York", which may be her most famous song -- it's a duet with Shane MacGowan.

If you want to get an album, "Galore" is a good bet -- it's a compilation of much of her best.

::sigh:: She was remarkable.
angstville
Jan. 30th, 2003 09:15 pm (UTC)
Re: Marry me a little
Thanks so much for the suggestions...I'm fresh from Kazaa and have downloaded Fairytale of New York, and once it started, I realized I have it on a CD around here. *g*

Once you get started at KaZaa, you just can't stop. Many things have just been downloaded.
se_parsons
Jan. 31st, 2003 08:47 am (UTC)
In a freakish bit of trivia about me, Doug Coupland is a pal of my Uncle John, who is one of his beta readers. While my father was dying of cancer, Doug was stuck on the ending for Girlfriend in a Coma. I wrote one up for him. He ended up not using it, but both John and he thought it was very cool. (John said better than Doug's, but he's my uncle.)'
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )