Friday, January 13, 2012

First Line Friday

Today's first line is one that I've loved since the first day I read it, years ago, on my balcony in Los Angeles below the tapestry of a mild winter afternoon.

"I've been cordially invited to join the visceral realists."

This novel then goes on to tell the story of a 17 year old aspiring poet named Juan Garcia Madero in Mexico City and his interactions with a group of rogue poets known as, of course, the "visceral realists." This first line is very abrupt, not flowery, not overly burdensome, but concise, and then the real kicker: The Visceral Realists. The reader is 7 words into the novel and already wondering who the hell the visceral realists are. To my eyes, it's a very effective first line.

So who wrote this first line? And in what novel? Without further ado, it is Roberto Bolano's critically acclaimed "The Savage Detectives." This novel really frustrated me at times, while completely melting my face with its turns and prose at other times. I guess I'd suggest that you read it, but be advised that it's work. But it's work that's well worth it.

1 comment:

  1. That is awesome.

    So "vanilla" until you hit the last two words. Who wouldn't want to keep reading? You're almost compelled to find out what the heck he's talking about.