Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Great Openings

Over at About Last Night, Our Girl in Chicago has a quote from the opening paragraph of a book that she particularly admires. The best opening sentence I've yet come across isn't from a novel, actually, but from Alan Jay Lerner's memoir, The Street Where I Live. Here it is:

This is the story of climaxes and endings and the sundown of a decade that blazed with joy, excitement, and triumph: so much, in fact, that as I look back I am haunted by the fear that perhaps I drank the wine too fast to taste it and instead of slowing down to look at the scenery, kept my foot on the accelerator and my eyes on the road ahead, gazing only occasionally from side to side and waiting far too long to glance at the rear-view mirror.

I wrote more about this book a long time ago, but suffice it to say that I enjoyed this book thoroughly, even if in more recent times I've learned that Lerner's factual veracity may not always be what we might prefer. Lerner is said to have believed in the adage, "Where legend and fact conflict, print the legend." Oh well, at least he tells his legend well.

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