Friday, April 13, 2012

First Line Friday!

This week's first line comes from a novel that finds itself in my list of the ten greatest novels I've ever read. And from what I can tell, it's somewhat unknown. In the very least, I wouldn't consider it prominent. The line is from Ivan Doig's 1987 novel, Dancing At The Rascal Fair (which is a title that I dislike, but the novel is very good). Here is the first line:

"To say the truth, it was not how I expected - stepping off toward America past a drowned horse."

Has anyone out there ever read Ivan Doig, or more specifically, Dancing at the Rascal Fair? I've encountered very few who have. If you haven't, please do so.


  1. Love the first line. It's bland, bland, bland until you get to "past a drowned horse." Then I'm intrigued.

    As for Doig, I'll admit I'd never heard of him before you brought him up. His landing on your top ten all-time reads list has certainly piqued my curiosity, though.

    Since there are so many authors waiting for me to plow through their work, why should one pick up Ivan Doig? Defend your fandom for those of us who've never read him.

  2. I've read Doig's "English Creek" and "Work Song", both excellent works, but not Dancing at the Rascal Fair; will do so post haste. He has a wonderful flair for capturing the rich flavor of the west, and has a fairly robust fan base her in Oregon. You might also enjoy writings by his compadre William Kittredge.

  3. MacEvoy . . . you should read Dancing At The Rascal Fair simply because it may be the best novel I've ever come across in how it portrays the phenomenon of "HOW life seems to happen, unbeknownst to us." It's really a tremendous read.

    Eugene . . . I've never read Work Song, but I also really loved English Creek.

    Anyone else read Doig?