The Book Meme: Day 18

Day 18 - Favorite beginning scene in a book

As is expected at this point, I have some issues with the prompt. I have already discussed my favorite scene ever, as seen if you scroll down to Day 9 of this exercise, and it happens to be an opening scene--the life-or-death pizza delivery that kicks off Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash. Am I therefore required to repeat myself?

I sure hope not. But rather than spend a lot of time on explanation, let me just present to you the brilliant opening paragraph of Jim Crace's Quarantine. This was all I had to read to know I'd be reading the book. Enjoy:

Miri's husband was shouting in his sleep, not words that she could recognize but simple, blurting fanfares of distress. When, at last, she lit a lamp to discover what was tormenting him, she saw his tongue was black--scored and sooty. Miri smelled the devil's eggy dinner roasting on his breath; she heard the snapping of the devil's kindling in his cough. She put her hand on to his chest; it was soft, damp and hot, like fresh bread. Her husband, Musa, was being baked alive. Good news.

That cascading catalog of woe, tied off suddenly with that neat and unexpected knot... ah, that's Crace at his best. And that's why you need to read Quarantine.

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This page contains a single entry by Peter Cashwell published on July 24, 2018 1:55 PM.

The Book Meme: Day 17 was the previous entry in this blog.

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