I Blame the Dutch mpoetess
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First Lines of Favourite Novels
katiedack ---> herself_nyc ---> me.

Favouritest ever (Favourite first line, and damned close to favourite novel):

Farrell arrived in Avicenna at four-thirty in the morning, driving a very old Volkswagen bus named Madame Schumann-Heink. ~ Peter S. Beagle, The Folk of the Air

The rest, in no particular order, and chock-full of genre novels, to which I say, "Uh huh? Your point?" :

The cave itself was cosy enough as caves go: sandy floor, reasonably draught-proof, convenient ledges for storing treasure, a rain/dew pond just outside, a southerly aspect and an excellent landing strip adjacent, but the occupant was definitely not at his best and the central heating in his belly was not functioning as it should. ~ Mary Brown, The Unlikely Ones

One day, Old Witch, the head witch of all the witches, was banished. ~ Eleanor Estes, The Witch Family

The streets were still wet but the storm clouds had moved on as Hank drove south on Yoors, waiting for a fare. ~ Charles de Lint, Someplace to Be Flying

Toward sundown Skeen heard the howls of a saayungka pack and knew the p'jaa were after her. ~ Jo Clayton, Skeen's Leap (Unless you consider the chapter title to be the first line in this case: Run, Skeen, And Bless Djabo For Long Legs or The Woman Betrayed.)

Once upon a time, long, long ago, where the forest runs down to the ocean, a hunter lived all alone in a house made of logs he had chopped for himself and shingles he had split for himself. ~ Randall Jarrell, The Animal Family (This is still the most beautiful, adult children's book ever. I'm still not sure I'm adult enough for this book, in fact.)

There's a town where dreams go to die. ~ Simon R. Green, Shadows Fall

Mother, I am in love with a robot. ~ Tanith Lee, The Silver Metal Lover

In the hour before time began, Meerclar Allmother came out of the darkness to the cold earth. ~ Tad Williams, Tailchaser's Song

"Dying's not so bad. At least I won't have to answer the telephone." ~ Rita Mae Brown, Venus Envy

There were five of us -- Carruthers and the new recruit and myself, and Mr. Spivens and the verger. ~ Connie Willis, To Say Nothing of the Dog

Any Christmas visitor looking for Carnival's Hide dropped down from the hilltops by a shingle road that elbowed its way across farmland already scrawled over by sheep tracks. ~ Margaret Mahy, The Tricksters (And bleh -- this is a much better novel than its opening lines suggest.)

It's a good idea to stake out a spot near an alley, if you can manage it without a fight. ~ Spider Robinson, Callahan's Lady

Grant lay on his high white cot and stared at the ceiling. ~ Josephine Tey, The Daughter of Time


The unicorn lived in a lilac wood, and she lived all alone. She was very old, though she did not know it, and she was no longer the color of sea foam, but rather of snow falling on a moonlight night, But her eyes were still clear and unwearied, and she still moved like a shadow on the sea. ~ Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn


This isn't by any means all of them -- there are novels I like better than some of these, that aren't here because I can't bloody find them. [Looks suspiciously at firesweeper.] There's also at least one -- Pomegranates Full and Fine by Don Bassingthwaite -- that's not here though I love the book, because the opening lines -- the entire prologue -- are boring as bloody hell and should've been drop-kicked in favour of much more subtle exposition.


2003-01-26 09:07 pm (UTC) (Link)

The Silver Metal Lover is a gorgeous book, isn't it? I'm not keen on science fiction novels, or young adult novels for that matter, but everything about it was just so beautiful. I was glad to see it on your list.


2003-01-27 09:22 am (UTC) (Link)

I used to be an absolute freak over Tanith Lee, and SML was one of my favourites. Now I've started to recognise where she hits her own formula, and goes a tad purple in other novels -- but there's still a few that I love without reservation, and this is one of them.


2003-01-26 11:47 pm (UTC) (Link)

Oh my goodness, we have so many favorite books in common.


2003-01-27 09:23 am (UTC) (Link)

Yay! (And yay for brain-eating Mittens!)


2003-01-27 06:11 am (UTC) (Link)

Hey, almost completely unrelated question: I've been looking for a copy of Pomegranates Full and Fine for years, fruitlessly. (Sorry, couldn't resist.) A friend of mine once told me Don mentioned FORKNI-L in the dedication, and I'm curious as to what it says.


2003-01-27 09:24 am (UTC) (Link)

You're welcome to borrow it -- I can bring it to Connexions, or send it back with James if you weren't planning on coming this year. Of course I could just look up the dedication for you when I'm at home and have access to it, as well.


2003-02-03 05:55 pm (UTC) (Link)

Looking it up is fine, thank you!


2003-02-08 11:48 am (UTC) (Link)

Hmm. The dedication just says "For Jeananne, Joel, and Mark."

The Acknowledgements say: "I'd like to thank the people whose support and inspiration made this possible. My appreciation goes out to Erin Kelly, Staley Krause, and Ian Lemke of White Wolf Publishing, to Christina Rossetti (1830-1894) For the inspiration of Goblin Market, and to Stephen Powell, for putting up with a cranky roommate and for the body in the fountain."

Maybe it was a hardback edition? Or maybe it was his other Whitewolf novel, whose name escapes me, though I have it somewhere.


2003-02-15 05:50 am (UTC) (Link)

Maybe it was a hardback edition? Or maybe it was his other Whitewolf novel, whose name escapes me, though I have it somewhere.

Entirely possible. Also entirely possible that Joe imagined it, as he seems to do occasionally. -g-


2003-01-27 08:07 am (UTC) (Link)

Hey, does that mean you know what a verger is?


2003-01-27 09:26 am (UTC) (Link)

S'a Church caretaker. And sometimes a lay minister/assistant pastor.


2003-01-27 09:46 am (UTC) (Link)

Oh. That part of the book makes more sense now. Thanks!


2003-01-27 09:23 am (UTC) (Link)

Oooh, I loved The Witch Family -- and most of Eleanor Estes, but especially that one. *quietly schedules library trip into already full week*


2003-01-27 09:28 am (UTC) (Link)

Since I share the heroine's name, I was inordinately fond of The Witch Family when I was a kid. It really does still stand up, though. All the little funny scenes and secret places that stuck in my mind are still there, as well as the charming language.