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Old 06-23-2018, 04:41 AM   #1
Pulpmeister
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Opening Lines

I DO LIKE good opening lines and opening paras. Of course, everyone knows these:

Las night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.

On Friday noon, July the twentieth, 1714, the finest bridge in all Peru broke and precipitated five travellers into the gulf below.

It was a dark and stormy night.

BUT DO you know these?

1: I drove out to Glendale to put three new truck drivers on a brewery company bond, and then I remembered this renewal over in Hollywoodland. I decided to run over there. That was how I came to this House of Death, that you've been reading about in the papers.

2: IT is cold at six-forty in the morning of a March day in Paris, and seems even colder when a man is about to be executed by firing squad.

3: “C.I.A., Mister Fletcher.”
“Um. Would you mind spelling that?”

4: AT THE stroke of eleven on a cool April night, a woman named Joey Perrone went overboard from a luxury deck of the cruise liner M.V. Sun Duchess. Plunging toward the dark Atlantic, Joey was too dumbfounded to panic.
I married an asshole, she thought, knifing headfirst into the waves.

5: Indian Summer is like a woman. Ripe, hotly passionate, but fickle, she comes and goes as she pleases so that one is never sure whether she will come at all, nor for how long she will stay.

6: Amerigo Bonasera sat in New York Criminal Court Number 3 and waited for justice; vengeance on the men who had so cruelly hurt his daughter, who had tried to dishonor her.

7: THE stranger came early in February, one wintry day, through a biting wind and a driving snow, the last snowfall of the year, over the down, walking from Bramblehurst railway station, and carrying a little black portmanteau in his thickly gloved hand. He was wrapped up from head to foot, and the brim of his soft felt hat hid every inch of his face but the shiny tip of his nose; the snow had piled itself against his shoulders and chest, and added a white crest to the burden he carried. He staggered into the "Coach and Horses" more dead than alive, and flung his portmanteau down. "A fire," he cried, "in the name of human charity! A room and a fire!"

8: IT WAS about eleven o’clock in the morning, mid October, with the sun not shining and a look of hard wet rain in 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. I was everything the well-dressed private detective ought to be. I was calling on four million dollars.
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Old 06-23-2018, 07:28 AM   #2
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It was a dark and stormy night.
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Old 06-23-2018, 08:54 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pulpmeister View Post
I DO LIKE good opening lines and opening paras. Of course, everyone knows these:

Las night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.

On Friday noon, July the twentieth, 1714, the finest bridge in all Peru broke and precipitated five travellers into the gulf below.

It was a dark and stormy night.

BUT DO you know these?

1: I drove out to Glendale to put three new truck drivers on a brewery company bond, and then I remembered this renewal over in Hollywoodland. I decided to run over there. That was how I came to this House of Death, that you've been reading about in the papers.

2: IT is cold at six-forty in the morning of a March day in Paris, and seems even colder when a man is about to be executed by firing squad.

3: “C.I.A., Mister Fletcher.”
“Um. Would you mind spelling that?”

4: AT THE stroke of eleven on a cool April night, a woman named Joey Perrone went overboard from a luxury deck of the cruise liner M.V. Sun Duchess. Plunging toward the dark Atlantic, Joey was too dumbfounded to panic.
I married an asshole, she thought, knifing headfirst into the waves.

5: Indian Summer is like a woman. Ripe, hotly passionate, but fickle, she comes and goes as she pleases so that one is never sure whether she will come at all, nor for how long she will stay.

6: Amerigo Bonasera sat in New York Criminal Court Number 3 and waited for justice; vengeance on the men who had so cruelly hurt his daughter, who had tried to dishonor her.

7: THE stranger came early in February, one wintry day, through a biting wind and a driving snow, the last snowfall of the year, over the down, walking from Bramblehurst railway station, and carrying a little black portmanteau in his thickly gloved hand. He was wrapped up from head to foot, and the brim of his soft felt hat hid every inch of his face but the shiny tip of his nose; the snow had piled itself against his shoulders and chest, and added a white crest to the burden he carried. He staggered into the "Coach and Horses" more dead than alive, and flung his portmanteau down. "A fire," he cried, "in the name of human charity! A room and a fire!"

8: IT WAS about eleven o’clock in the morning, mid October, with the sun not shining and a look of hard wet rain in 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. I was everything the well-dressed private detective ought to be. I was calling on four million dollars.

Number 2 is from Day of the Jackal, by Frederick Forsyth, one of my favorites.
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Old 06-23-2018, 09:11 AM   #4
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Old 06-23-2018, 09:13 AM   #5
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6. The Godfather

And why am I recognizing the trashy ones?
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Old 06-23-2018, 09:40 AM   #6
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Old 06-23-2018, 09:41 AM   #7
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8. The Big Sleep (Raymond Chandler)
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Old 06-23-2018, 09:46 AM   #8
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4. Skinny Dip by Carl Hiaasen

1. Double Indemnity by James M Cain.

Last edited by jackie_w; 06-23-2018 at 09:56 AM.
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Old 06-23-2018, 09:58 AM   #9
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Number 1 is James M. Cain, Double Indemnity.
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Old 06-23-2018, 10:28 AM   #10
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Wow, that was quick. There's a lot of wide reading on this forum.

I thought I'd toss in this one: If the words don't ring the bell, the image should.

IT WAS THE beginning.
First he thought it was a tidal wave. Then he saw that the sky and ocean were visible through it and it was a curtain of spray rushing at the boat. He'd been sunbathing on top of the cabin. It was just coincidence that he pushed up on his elbow and saw it coming.
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Old 06-23-2018, 12:01 PM   #11
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#3 is from Fletch by Gregory McDonald.
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Old 06-23-2018, 02:54 PM   #12
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Bonus is from The Incredible Shrinking Man.

Sadly the other 3 I recognized (#1, 4 and 7) have already been named.
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Old 06-23-2018, 02:56 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pulpmeister View Post
Wow, that was quick. There's a lot of wide reading on this forum.

I thought I'd toss in this one: If the words don't ring the bell, the image should.

IT WAS THE beginning.
First he thought it was a tidal wave. Then he saw that the sky and ocean were visible through it and it was a curtain of spray rushing at the boat. He'd been sunbathing on top of the cabin. It was just coincidence that he pushed up on his elbow and saw it coming.
The Incredible Shrinking Man
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Old 06-23-2018, 06:16 PM   #14
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I always liked this one:

Quote:
“Take my camel, dear,” said my aunt Dot, as she climbed down from this animal on her return from High Mass.
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Old 06-23-2018, 07:13 PM   #15
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^^ The Towers of Trebizond by Rose Macaulay.
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