Friday, March 19, 2004

Last Lines

OK, on a pure whim, here is a quiz I'm cobbling together. Very simply, these are the last lines of books I own. (By "last line", I mean, the last line of the story of main body of the work. No appendices, author's notes, or anything like that. By that standard, many would have to be some variant of "This book is set in 11-point Helvenicia, a typeface designed by Sir Wadrick the Walloper of Northsandpembrokewichshire in 1644 as a result of a lost bar bet.")

Most are fiction, but some are not. A few will be obvious, a few not so obvious. Enjoy. I'll post the answers next week sometime.

1. "He braced himself for this big fucking scream."

2. "End it with the ending of a night."

3. "We've won it. It's going to get better now. You can sort of tell these things."

4. "Waves broke in swift lines on the beach, and she walked over the sand toward her friends, in the wind, on Mars, on Mars, on Mars, on Mars, on Mars."

5. "Away on the horizon he could see the golden edge of a kingdom where, since he was a small child, he had always longed to go."

6. " 'Boy, I'm glad all that supernatural stuff is over,' the bat said."

7. "To a receptive audience, it might be a kind of Second Coming."

8. "Life was such a wheel that no man could stand upon it for long. And it always, at the end, came round to the same place again."

9. "The cannons of his adversary were thundering in the tattered morning when the Majesty of England drew himself up to meet the future with a peaceful heart."

10. "And, in time, only the bards knew the truth of it."

11. "Therefore, we say -- speaking as living and (we think) thinking beings, as carriers of the fire -- therefore, choose life."

12. "What I have been trying so hard to tell you all along is simply that my fahter, without the slightest doubt, was the most marvelous and exciting father any boy ever had."

13. "They will gaze up and strain to find the blue dot in their skies. They will love it no less for its obscurity and fragility. They will marvel at how vulnerable the repository of all our potential once was, how perilous our infancy, how humble our beginnings, how many rivers we had to cross before we found our way."

14. "Again: If you receive this message, please respond!"

15. "So I have just one wish for you -- the good luck to be somewhere where you are free to maintain the kind of integrity I have described, and where you do not feel forced by a need to maintain your position in the organization, or financial support, or so on, to lose your integrity. May you have that freedom."

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