Great opening Lines Challenge

Vanni Fucci
It would apparently be my fault, as I found it to be most easily googled... :P

...and I'm afraid my lack of Canadiansia is becoming more apparent with every post of yours, Pea...I'm feeling thoroughly inadequate right now...
...I'm feeling thoroughly inadequate right now

What a strange thing to say..ehm I mean type :P You know a whole lot more than I do. I know about canadian writers because of cbc, before that...nada.

Jane Urquhart ---Away

"At the first gesture of the morning, flies began stirring. Inman's eyes and the long wound at his neck drew them, and the sound of their wings and the touch of their feet were soon more potent than a yardful of roosters in rousing a man to wake. So he came to yet one more day in the hospital ward."
Is it Cold Mountain - Charles Frazier?

""And I say you will!" bellowed the burly sheepfarmer, Dothan Kanasson. He lunged across the table, but his daughter P__________n sidestepped his powerful arm and darted down the passage to the sleeping rooms."
I am getting addicted to this thread You are right silent, a trivia fact, but both thomas wolfe and charles frazier were born in the same small town of Asheville.

Yours is The deed of paksenarrion---elizabeth moon

"Lets start indoors. Let's start by imagining a fine persian carpet and a hunting knife. The carpet is twelve feet by eighteen, say. That gives us 216 square feet of continuous woven material. Is the knife razor-sharp? If not, we hone it. We set about cutting the carpet into thirty-six equal pieces, each one a rectangle, two feet by three. Never mind the hardwood floor. The severing fibers release small tweaky noises, like the muted yelps of outraged persian weavers. Never mind the weavers. When we're finished cutting, we measure the individual pieces, total them up---and find that lo, there's still nearly 216 square feet of recognizably carpetlike stuff. But what does it amount to? Have we got thirty-six nice persian throw rugs? No. All we've left with is three dozen ragged fragments, each one worthless and commencing to come apart.
Now take the same logic outdoors and it begins to explain why the tiger, panthera tigris, has disappeared from the island of bali. It cast light on the fact that the red fox, vulpes vulpes, is missing from bryce canyon national park. It suggests why the jaguar, the puma and the forty-five species of birds have benn extirpated from a place called barro colorado island--and why myriad other creatures are mysteriously absent from a myriad other sites. An ecosystem is a tapestry of species and relationships. Chop away a section, isolate that section, and there arises the problem of unraveling.

hehehehhehe somewhat of a rant...big clue eh :P
Song of the Dodo -- David Quammen?

This one might be tricky:

"This scene, which illustrates Adolph Hitler's early vision that a world-historic destiny lay before him, took place in his fifteenth year."
I don't know that, and it seems nobody else does either :P You will have to tell us what it is. Henry I had no idea who mark kurlansky was, I just saw a book with a picture of a fish, and the word cod, I figured it might be good reading. It was :P very good reading. A biography of the fish that changed the world. I also read his book The white man in the tree.

Vanni this one is for you. If you have not read this book you MUST! Its about newfoundland to. :P It won a pulitzer prize, they made a movie out of it, no good, cannot beat the book. I got it because they read an exert of it once over the CBC. I had to read it :P

"Here is an account of the few years in the life of Quoyle, born in Brooklyn and raised in a shuffle od dreary upstate towns. Hive-spangled, gut roaring with gas and cramp, he survived childhood; at the state university, hands clapped over his chin, he comouflaged torment with smiles and silence. Stumbled through his twenties and into his thirties learning to seperate his feelings from his life, counting on nothing. He ate prodigiously, liked a ham knuckle, buttered spuds."

I will even through in the quote at the top of the page.

Quoyle--A coil of rope
"A flemish flake is a spiral coil of one layer only, It is made on deck, so that it may be walked on if necessary."
The ashley book of knots.
Vanni Fucci
Quote: Originally Posted by peapod

Vanni this one is for you. If you have not read this book you MUST! Its about newfoundland to. :P It won a pulitzer prize, they made a movie out of it, no good, cannot beat the book. I got it because they read an exert of it once over the CBC. I had to read it :P

Thanks Pea, I'll have to check it out...

The Shipping News -- Annie E. Proulx

I remember seeing a trailer for that movie once, and thought to myself "Wow...that looks exciting"... :P

"His head unnaturally aching, Barney Mayerson woke up to find himself in an unfamiliar bedroom in an unfamiliar conapt building."
"I'll sue you," the door said as the first screw fell out. :P

three stigmata of palmer eldritch---philip dick

"I and my chimney, two grey-headed old smokers, reside in the country. We are, I may say, old settlers here; particularly my old chimney, which settles more and more every day"
Hard-Luck Henry
Google says "Dick", and I am vaguely aware of a Richard E. Dick, famous sci-fi person. So it's him.

Straight off my shelf (honest ):

"THE FIRST TIME I heard the secret tongue, the ancient and forbidden language of the Basques, was in the Hotel Eskualduna in St.-Jean-de-Luz. It was in the 1970s, and Franco still ruled Spain like a 1930s dictator. I was interested in the Basques because I was a journalist and they were the only story, the only Spaniards visibly resisting Franco. But if they still spoke their language, they didn't do it in front of me in Spanish Basqueland, where a few phrases of Basque could lead to an arrest. In the French part of Basqueland, in St.-Jean-de-Luz, people spoke Basque only in private, or whispered it, as though, only a few miles from the border, they feared it would be heard on the other side."

Ps, I agree, with Vanni (way back); too much googling makes for a dull game: how about lines from books which can't be so easily googled, but still give enough of a clue to make an educated guess possible?

Edited: I'm not slow, I'm tired :P Richard E. / Philip K. what's the difference?
Persuant to Henry's previous post here is a clue to:

"This scene, which illustrates Adolph Hitler's early vision that a world-historic destiny lay before him, took place in his fifteenth year."

Clue ==>> or Roman legionaire makes a point.

PS Henry - Regarding Avebury - none taken - mistakenly thought it was place rather than city - should read the fine print.
Not very much of a clue swirl

the secret of the spear --alec maclellan---it does not matter anyway I am gonna read that book the secret of spear...spooky

So If I am right than here is my repost until you return with a yay or a nay.

"I and my chimney, two grey-headed old smokers, reside in the country. We are, I may say, old settlers here; particularly my old chimney, which settles more and more every day."
Hard-Luck Henry
Melville - I and My Chimney (external - login to view) (link)

Just read it, online: What an odd story, thanks peapod

"Nobody could sleep. When morning came, assault craft would be lowered and a first wave of troops would ride through the surf and charge ashore on the beach at Anopopei. All over the ship, all through the convoy, there was a knowledge that in a few hours some of them were going to be dead."
The literture network So that is where you been getting your answers henry :P Hey that is a nice forum.

Norman mailer--the naked and the dead

"A man stood upon a railroad bridge in northern Alabama, looking down into the swift water twenty feet below. The man's hands were behind his back, the wrists bound with a cord."
Sounds like Grisham?
Grisham I don't like him, recycled plots :P Swirl you did not say if my guess was correct or not???

an occurrence at owl creek bridge---ambroise bierce

I have all these books :P I love every single one :P

"Old Mother West Wind had just come down from the Purple Hills and turned loose her children, the Merry Little Breezes, from the big bag in which she had been carrying them. They were very lively and very merry as they danced and raced across the Green Meadows in all directions, for it was good to be back there once more. Old Mother West Wind almost sighed as she watched them for a few minutes. She felt that she would like to join them. Always the springtime made her feel this way,--young, mad, carefree, and happy. But she had work to do. She had to turn the windmill to pump water for Farmer Brown's cows, and this was only one of many mills standing idle as they waited for her. So she puffed her cheeks out and started about her business. "
Look at your messages.
Hey slilent, post your rules for the case anyone else wants to join :P
Hard-Luck Henry
The Adventures of Old Mr Toad, eh? Of course, I read those all the time

Here's something similar, that I read with my son:

"The Mole had been working very hard all the morning, spring-
cleaning his little home. First with brooms, then with dusters;
then on ladders and steps and chairs, with a brush and a pail of
whitewash; till he had dust in his throat and eyes, and splashes
of whitewash all over his black fur, and an aching back and weary
arms. Spring was moving in the air above and in the earth below
and around him, penetrating even his dark and lowly little house
with its spirit of divine discontent and longing. It was small
wonder, then, that he suddenly flung down his brush on the floor,
said `Bother!' and `O blow!' and also `Hang spring-cleaning!'
and bolted out of the house without even waiting to put on his
coat. Something up above was calling him imperiously, and he
made for the steep little tunnel which answered in his case to
the gravelled carriage-drive owned by animals whose residences
are nearer to the sun and air. So he scraped and scratched and
scrabbled and scrooged and then he scrooged again and scrabbled
and scratched and scraped, working busily with his little paws
and muttering to himself, `Up we go! Up we go!' till at last,
pop! his snout came out into the sunlight, and he found himself
rolling in the warm grass of a great meadow."
The wind in the willow...hehehehehe....really you read the little blue books about the green forest and its inhabitants k this is one of the first books I read. :P

"Mr. Phileas Fogg lived, in 1872, at No. 7, Saville Row, Burlington Gardens, the house in which Sheridan died in 1814. He was one of the most noticeable members of the Reform Club, though he seemed always to avoid attracting attention; an enigmatical personage, about whom little was known, except that he was a polished man of the world. People said that he resembled Byron--at least that his head was Byronic; but he was a bearded, tranquil Byron, who might live on a thousand years without growing old"
Hard-Luck Henry
That can only be Around the World in 80 Days

Now, let me see ...

We have heard of the thriving of the throne of Denmark,
how the folk-kings flourished in the former days,
how those royal athelings earned that glory.

Was it not Scyld Shefing that shook the halls,
took mead -benches, taught encroaching
foes to fear him - who, found in childhood,
lacking clothing? Yet he lived and prospered,
grew in strength and stature under the heavens
until the clans settled in the sea-coasts neighbouring
over the whale-road all must obey him
and give tribute. He was a good king!"
Well ehm..I admit I had to google that one :P but you are adding some good books to my list henry. Soon I will no room to live in my space, to many books

HwŠt. We Gardena in gear-dagum,
■eodcyninga, ■rym gefrunon,
hu ­a Š■elingas ellen fremedon :P


"A cock was once strutting up and down the farmyard among the hens when suddenly he espied something shinning amid the straw. "Ho! ho!" quoth he, "that's for me," and soon rooted it out from beneath the straw. What did it turn out to be but a Pearl that by some chance had been lost in the yard? "You may be a treasure," quoth Master Cock, "to men that prize you, but for me I would rather have a single barley-corn than a peck of pearls"
Hard-Luck Henry
This is a very similar parable (I think the author must have read Aesop at some time):

"Kino awakened in the near dark. The stars still shone and the day had drawn only a pale wash of light in the lower sky in the east. The roosters had been crowing for some time, and the early pigs were already beginning their ceaseless turning of twigs and bits of wood to see whether anything to eat had been overlooked. Outside the brush house in the tuna clump, a covey of little birds chittered and flurried with their wings."
*big yawn* *sallows big gulp of coffee* :P

Stienbeck-- the pearl

"Dark spruce forest frowned on either side the frozen waterway. The trees had been stripped by a recent wind of their white covering of frost, and they seemed to lean towards each other, black and ominous, in the fading light. A vast silence reigned over the land. The land itself was a desolation, lifeless, without movement, so lone and cold that the spirit of it was not even that of sadness. There was a hint in it of laughter, but of a laughter more terrible than any sadness - a laughter that was mirthless as the smile of the sphinx, a laughter cold as the frost and partaking of the grimness of infallibility. It was the masterful and incommunicable wisdom of eternity laughing at the futility of life and the effort of life. It was the Wild, the savage, frozen-hearted Northland Wild.
Hard-Luck Henry
You're up early for the weekend. (At least, I think you are - what is it, about 8am?) Work?

Easy one - White Fang, Jack London.

Similar location(ish)

It was a feature peculiar to the colonial wars of North America that the toils and dangers of the wilderness were to be encountered brfore the adverse hosts could meet."

I was going for a cup of tea, but I think I'll have coffee, now.
hehehehehe well its 6:21 here henry..I been up since 5 I wake just about every day at the same time...its a curse! don't need a clock either. :P

Yours is last of the mohicans---james cooper.

"I was apprenticed to the Sea when I was twelve years old, and I have encountered a great deal of rough weather, both literal and metaphorical. It has always been my opinion since I first possessed such a thing as an opinion, that the man who knows only one subject is next tiresome to the man who knows no subject. Therefore, in the course of my life I have taught myself whatever I could, and although I am not an educated man, I am able, I am thankful to say, to have an intelligent interest in most things"
Hard-Luck Henry
Very clever, trickster, choosing that little nugget, but the early bird isn't catching this worm, yet anyway. Dickens is amongst my favourites - I read his stuff constantly, and have the complete works on the shelf right behind my monitor. I thought I recognised the style, but still had to look that one up: I'm impressed, once again. The Wreck of The Golden Mary. (With some parts written by Wilkie Collins, I think).

You'll get this in an instant, it's probably the most famous opening passage in literature (on this side of the Atlantic, at any rate) but I'm posting it anyway, 'cos it's so good :P

"IT WAS the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way- in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only."

A tale of two lets see if you can get this one...this book is AWESOME!!!!!

"There is a time, I tell her, that takes so long that only the land can understand. It is the landĺs time, with land-seconds, land-minutes and land-hours. In this time there are different rules; substances change character, even the most brittle solid can become liquid enough to flow. A land-second is long enough for an icicle to bend, and for a glacier to creep downwards to the sea. In a land-minute rocks can be pushed into mountains and they can curve and fold like bakerĺs dough. But during a land-hour the solid-liquid continents have time to float by in the liquid-solid mantle; they fracture, they rift, they form valleys and then they float away. They push their way through the sima-mantle that has now become a liquid sea. Imagine the hours creaking by, Hilde, imagine continents colliding, earthquakes making the whole globe shake, and a mountain chain rising in a colossal wave.

Her head is sinking onto my shoulder. But when I shift she wakes and whimpers so I talk again.

Ah such mountains, my little one, if only we could see them: one continent nudging another, India against Asia, buckling up the land between to form a plateau in the clouds. Or the Andes, ribbing the earth like your curled up backbone, such a colossal chain, arching backwards as it encounters the chilled Pacific. So many land-hours have passed. The sima-surface of the ocean floor has set quite hard and the westward drift of the Americas has become a push. The leading edges buckle, the sial splinters, and from these rents volcanoes quietly exude a runny lava.

I stop. By my neck there is a wet patch of dribble. When we pass a mirror I see her eyes are shutting and then being forced open again and so I continue.

A land-day has passed and what do we see? Behind the stately-moving continent are a dozen islands, sloughed off in its wake, and in front of each island, at the cold bottom of an old ocean, the sima has become brittle enough to fracture and form a trench. So deep, Hilde. Imagine the blackness, imagine the cold. Every movement is sudden and ferocious: earthquakes, Hilde, great tidal waves, and before each shift a mighty swelling up of sima. Imagine a volcano, all that fire, all that heat.

She whimpers a little then sucks on her fist.

But this is so far away, little one, or so long ago. Even the land does not remember when the sial of Marburg last swept through oceans. There is nothing to fear. The only earthquakes here, my love, are the ones we make ourselves. "
Hard-Luck Henry
Right, I think enough time has passed for me justify my googled answer - Clare Dudman, "Wegener's Jigsaw". It might be called "One Day The Ice Will Give Up Its Dead" where you are; a title which has reminded me of th intoduction ot a book which I'm now going to use (edited, 'cos I'm too tired to type it all):

" A bitter wind raced across the shattered rocks of Mount Everests South Col, brushing gritty snow into the folds of a dying man's clothing. He lay on his back with his bare hands resting at his sides. Less than a ropes length away, in a huddle of tents, seven men slept in snug sleeping bags. The dying man had lain outside for many hours, exposed to the withering wind.
His mind collapsed slowly as his body went through the motions of living. The system began closing down, rationalising away the luxury of digits and limbs and non-vital organs, protecting the core until all that was left was the core. Viscous blood cooled in deadened limbs as the body temperature kept dropping by steady fractions of degrees. Limbs abandoned to save the core hardened like chicken thighs in a deep freeze; flesh became death-coloured, bluish-grey to off-white, and solid. Chilled blood cannot return to cool the core. That was all that he became - a fragile core, an imperceptible pulse in lifeless flesh. It was a very long death ...

... Perhaps [a] familiar sound had stirred something in his frozen memory, or the recognition of voices drifting over from the tents had into his fading consciousness had triggered the almost superhuman effort to wave one hand. A feeble, slow wave. A plea. Help me. Hold me, please ...

... The Sherpa who had struggled out of his tent to relieve himself stared in horror at the bare, frozen, waving hand. A desolate,ashen sky of lowering clouds hung over the Col, but the was no doubting what he had seen. It was a dead man moving. A shock of superstitious fear bolted through him as he scrabbled at the zipped door, shouting for someone to help him ...
... A confused chatter of voices rose and fell in volume as the wind snatched away the questions that were shouted between the tents. In a tense, uneasy atmosphere, the zip was eased down and a wide-eyed face peered out at the body with the waving hand and then ducked back inside, to be replaced by another frightened staring expression.
... they didn't go out to hold the dying man, to still his piteous waving arm with a gentle hand. No one took his pulse or checked his vital signs. No one acknoledged his last despairing movement, knelt by him and had the humanity to hug him. He died alone as his fate was discussed earnestly in a bizarre radio call ("There is a body outside which moves. Is it possible for a dead body to make uncontrolled movements, over?" "No! But it possible for a living body to move. Over." ) They let him die for reasons best known to themselves. Perhaps they did not want to face his dying; maybe the finality was too intimidating for them to face."
uncle..I give up :P
Hard-Luck Henry
Quote: Originally Posted by peapod

uncle..I give up :P

It's from Joe Simpson's Dark Shadows Falling. You'll know him - I'm sure you've seen/read Touching the Void. In Shadows he describes his concern that the ethics and selflessness that characterised the best mountaineers of old, have been replaced by ambition, greed and selfishness in the modern age. (So what's new? )

Here's another awesome book :

"'To be born again,' sang Gibreel Farishta tumbling from the heavens, 'first you have to die. Ho ji! To land upon the bosomy earth, first one needs to fly. Tat-taa! Taka-thun! How to ever smile again, if first you won't cry? How to win the darling's love, mister, without a sigh? Baba, if you want to get born again...'
no new posts