Saturday, 7 November 2015

NaBloPoMo 7: 'You had me at "hello"'

The film 'Jerry Maguire' spawned a thousand parodies and memes with the line:
'You had me at "hello"'.

The opening line/s of a book can do that: grab you, and hook you in.
Today's NaBloPoMo prompt was to 'post the opening sentence of your
favourite book. How long has it been in your life?'

No. Can't play the game quite in that way.
There have been too many - are too many - friends in paper format
that have stood the test of time. Instead, I've decided to post opening gambits
to several companions in print instead - mostly from my childhood, up until
the age of 30. There may be another post to fill in blanks up until the present
at another point! In the meantime, I've loved journeying down memory lane!

''Once there were four children whose names were Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy.'
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; C. S. Lewis
Ahhh, but I wanted so very much to live in Narnia. I was 8 when I went through
the wardrobe and discovered this world.

'“There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.'
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader; C. S. Lewis
This, of all the Narnia books, was my favourite - sea adventures!

'One spring morning at four o'clock the first cuckoo arrived in the Valley of the Moomins.'
Finn Family Moomintroll; Tove Jansson
The lovely Moomins - entirely other. Loved them. c.8 or 9yrs

Before you fairly start this story I should like to give you just a word of warning. If you imagine you are going to read of model children, with perhaps; a naughtily inclined one to point a moral, you had better lay down the book immediately and betake yourself to 'Sandford and Merton' or similar standard juvenile works. Not one of the seven is really good, for the very excellent reason that Australian children never are. In England, and America, and Africa, and Asia, the little folks may be paragons of virtue, I know little about them. But in Australia a model child is—I say it not without thankfulness—an unknown quantity.'
Seven Little Australians; Ethel Turner'
I think I was 10 or 11 when I came across this great Australian classic.
Ah, Judy and the picnic at Yarrahappini - I wept.

'They were not railway children to begin with.'
The Railway Children; Edith Nesbit
'Daddy! Oh my daddy!' - As the steam cleared from the station platform,
another weepy child turned the pages as Bobby ran to meet her father.
Still brings a wee lump to the throat, so it does. I was 12.

' 'Mrs. Rachel Lynde lived just where the Avonlea main road dipped down into a little hollow, fringed with alders and ladies' eardrops and traversed by a brook that had its source away back in the woods of the old Cuthbert place.'
Anne of Green Gables; L. M. Montgomery
An avid reader of all the Anne books. One day I will manage to visit PE Island...

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way — in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.'
A Tale of Two Cities; Charles Dickens
A tan hardback, slightly worn. It fell into my 13yr old palms, was opened,
and was not put down until I'd finished by the end of the day. Stunning. Moving. Wonderful.

'When Mr Bilbo Baggins of Bag End announced that he would shortly be celebrating his eleventy-first birthday with a party of special magnificence, there was much talk and excitement in Hobbiton.'
The Fellowship of the Ring; J. R. R. Tolkien
I was 13-14yrs old when I entered Middle Earth. And every year,
I return and find new things.

'When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow.'
To Kill a Mockingbird; Harper Lee
I was either in Grade 11 or 12 - 17 or 18yrs old. A set book for English.
Who'da thunk a compulsory book read would become an enduring love.
I have not yet been able to read the recently published Harper Lee -
Atticus is still too precious to lose.

'I was born in the year 1894 at Maidstone in Victoria. My father left for Western Australia just after this, taking with him my two older brothers, Joseph and Vernon. The discovery of gold in the West had been booming and thousands believed that a fortune was to be made.' A Fortunate Life; A. B. Facey
Bert Facey - the heroic in the ordinary. Another Aussie classic and his life is primary
source material for the Gallipoli story. Extraordinary and inspiring.

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.' Pride and Prejudice; Jane Austen
Oh, love the wit and sparkle of Austen at her best. Stumbled happily into the world
of Lizzy and Darcy back in my early 20's. The book's a keeper and I regularly re-visit.

'High in the Australian Alps a little stream, just born, moves invisibly beneath the snow or can be glimpsed through a blue-shadowed hole between the melting snow bridges.'
All the Rivers Run; Nancy Cato
Delie Gordon still has my heart. Riverboats and the sea. Belonging
and finding your heart's true home.

'The year that Buttercup was born, the most beautiful woman in the world was a French scullery maid named Annette.'
The Princess Bride; William Goldman
Just because it's possibly the best story ever.

'Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western Spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun. Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-eight million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue-green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.'
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy; Douglas Adams
I was late in discovering mice and dolphins, petunias and whales.
A German pal introduced me to this nutty, funny, clever stuff when I was 30.
I try to keep a towel nearby me, wherever I am.

1 comment:

Teri said...

I'd forgotten all about Finn Family Moomintroll. I loved them so much. :-)

And obvs the Princess Bride and Pride and Prejudice. yes, yes, yes.

I'm so impressed with your memory of some of these.