halfdutch (halfdutch) wrote,

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Book meme

Gakked from philomel

First line(s) from my fave books. First to guess gets their name posted here and a virtual brownie. (And I couldn't guess most of these myself, FYI.) I'm not repeating anything she had, so no Austen or Tolkien.

Can I cheat and do short stories too? Then I will! And one play.

In no particular order:

ETA: The ones no oe guessed since it's been 2 days ... ;-)

1. "_____ ____ in Monterey in California is a poem, a stink, a grating noise, a quality of light, a tone, a habit, a nostalgia, a dream." (Cannery Row by John Steinbeck - I can't believe no one got this!)

2. "On an exceptionally hot evening early in July a young man came out of the garret in which he lodged in S. Place and walked slowly, as though in hesitation, towards K. Bridge." (Crime & Punishment by Dostoevsky, guessed by philomel, even though it's a different translation.)

3. "Mother died today. Or, maybe yesterday; I can't be sure. The telegram from the Home says: Your mother passed away. Funeral tomorrow. Deep sympathy. Which leaves the matter doubtful; it could have been yesterday." (The Stranger, by Albert Camus, guessed by lukesaysno)

4. "I rode a streetcar to the edge of the city limits, then I started to walk, swinging the old thumb whenever I saw a car coming. I was dressed pretty good -- white shirt, brown slacks and sport shoes. I'd had a shower at the railroad station and a hair trim in a barber college, so all in all I looked okay."
After Dark My Sweet by Jim Thompson - Great, dark pulp novel. Made into a good flick starring Jason Patric, who's amazing in it. Rachel Ward, not so much.)

5. "One by one I had watched them all die. First my father. Then my brothers, Gaylen and Gary. Finally, my mother, a bitter and ravaged woman." Shot in the Heart by Mikal Gilmore - Heartbreaking true story of growing up as Gary Gilmore's brother. Fantastic but sooo dark.)

6. "I see..." said the vampire thoughtfully, and slowly he walked across the room towards the window." (Interview With the Vampire by Anne Rice, guessed by philomel.)

7. "The Salinas Valley is in Northern California. It is a long narrow swale between two ranges of mountains, and the Salinas River winds and twists up the center until it falls at last into Monterey Bay." (East of Eden by John Steinbeck, guessed by frooshoo.)

8. "For one whole year he did nothing but drive, traveling back and forth across America as he waited for the money to run out. He hadn't expected it to go on that long, but one thing kept leading to another, and by the time Nashe understood what was happening, he was past the point of wanting it to end." The Music of Chance by Paul Auster - All his novels are about someone coming into a lot of money - wishful thinking for a writer? ;-D)

9. "For a week Mr. R. Childan had been anxiously watching the mail. But the valuable shipment from the Rocky Mountain States had not arrived." The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick - Not sci-fi so much as alternate history of WWII, where the Axis powers won and the US is occupied by the Germans and the Japanese. Very interesting premise.)

10. "The day had gone by just as days go by. I had killed it in accordance with my primitive and retiring way of life. I had worked for an hour or two and perused the pages of old books." Steppenwolf by Herman Hesse)

11. "It was the last day of July. The long hot summer was drawing to a close; and we, the weary pilgrims of the London pavement, were beginning to think of the cloud-shadows on the corn-fields and the autumn breezes of the sea-shore." The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins. Great, Gothic Victorian mystery. I picked it up for the Edward Gorey cover illustration and this was perfectly in keeping with his style, if you're familiar with it.)

12. "One morning along about four bells, I am standing in front of Mindy's restaurant on Broadway with a guy by the name of Regret, who has this name because it seems he wins a very large bet the year the Whitney filly, Regret, grabs the Kentucky Derby, and can never forget it, which is maybe why it is the only large bet he ever wins in his life." "The Bloodhounds of Broadway" by Damon Runyon - One of a set of stories about NY Gangsters later made into "Guys and Dolls" )

13. "It is very seldom that mere ordinary people like John and myself secure ancestral halls for the summer." ("The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, guessed by philomel, amazingly enough!! Gold star for you!)

14. "Jewel and I come up from the field, following the path in single file. Although I am fifteen feet ahead of him, anyone watching us from the cottonhouse can see Jewel's frayed and broken straw hat a full head above my own." (As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner, guessed by philomel.)

15. "Did you hear what I was playing, Lane?" "I didn't think it polite to listen, sir." "I'm sorry for that, for your sake. I don't play accurately -- any one can play accurately -- but I play with great expression." ("The Importance of Being Earnest" by Oscar Wilde, guessed by philomel.)

16. "It was about eleven o'clock in the morning, mid October, with the sun not shining and a look of hard wet rain the clearness of the foothills. I was wearing my powder-blue suit, with dark blue shirt, tie, and display handkerchief, black brogues, black wool socks with dark blue clocks on them. I was neat, clean, shaved and sober and I didn't care who knew it." The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler)

17. "Robert Cohn was once middleweight boxing champion of Princeton. Do not think that I am very much impressed by that as a boxing title, but it meant a lot to Cohn." The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway)

18. "Context is everything. Dress me up and see. I'm a carnival barker, an auctioneer, a downtown performance artist, a speaker in tongues, a senator drunk on filibuster." Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem. My favorite read of the last few years -- it's about a detective with Tourette's Syndrome. The writing is fantastic!)

19. "Does such a thing as the 'fatal flaw,' that showy dark crack running down the middle of life, exist outside literature? I used to think it didn't. Now I think it does. And I think that mine is this: a morbid longing for the picturesque at all costs." The Secret History by Donna Tartt - spoiled college kids run amok but not exactly how you think. There's murder and incest and all kinds of dark goings-on.)

20. "Church-Peveril is a house so beset and frequented by spectres, both visible and audible, that none of the family which it shelters under its acre and a half of green copper roofs takes psychical phenomena with any seriousness." "How Fear Departed From the Long Gallery" by E.F. Benson- My favorite ghost story from a ghost story specialist who's also known for his fluffy "Mapp and Lucia" stories. Veddy British.)

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