Friday, June 29, 2012

First Line Friday

MacEvoy has been putting a bug in my ear as of late about The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides.  I haven't read it, but I did take a look at the first page earlier today.  As such, I figured we might as well examine its first line:

"To start with, look at all the books."

Hmmmmm.  I don't love it, to be honest.  It's too flippant.  Too brief.  Too colloquial for my taste.  MacEvoy may disagree . . .

(Side Note:  I am considering discontinuing First Line Friday to pursue other opportunities, such as "Title Tuesdays" or "Metaphor Mondays." What say all of you?  Are we tired of First Line Fridays?)

1 comment:

  1. It reminds me of the first line of Blood Meridian, which we covered here. In the comments of that post I typed out the lines that followed the first sentence and still wasn't too impressed.

    In the case of The Marriage Plot, though. I think the second and third lines work together to paint an interesting picture of the character by examining her reading habits:

    "To start with, look at all the books. There were her Edith Wharton novels, arranged not by title but date of publication; there was the complete Modern Library set of Henry James, a gift from her father on her twenty-first birthday; there were the dog-eared paperback assigned in her college courses, a lot of Dickens, a smidgen of Trollope, along with good helpings of Austen, George Eliot, and the redoubtable Bronte sisters."

    And it goes on from there. I think it builds nicely, and as someone who loves books about books, it completely draws me in.