Thursday, June 10, 2010

Opening lines

This post was prompted by a piece yesterday by Jose over at The Game's Afoot about opening first lines. I thought I'd post some opening lines by one of my favourite authors, Joe Lansdale, who always has strong openings to his novels.

It was July and hot and I was putting out sticks and not thinking one whit about murder.
Mucho Mojo (1994)

When I got over to Leonard's Christmas Eve night, he had the Kentucky Headhunters turned way up over at his place, and they were singing "The Ballad of Davy Crockett," and Leonard, in a kind of Christmas celebration, was once again setting fire to the house next door.
The Two-Bear Mambo (1995)

When you grow up in a place, especially if your childhood is a good one, you fail to notice a lot of the nasty things that creep beneath the surface and wriggle about like hungry worms in rotten flesh.
Leather Maiden (2008)

On the afternoon it rained frogs, sun perch, and minnows, Sunset discovered she could take a beating good as Three-Fingered Jack.
Sunset and Sawdust (2004)

It was mid-April when I got home from the offshore rig and discovered my good friend Leonard Pine had lost his job bouncing drunks at the Hot Cat Club because, in a moment of anger, when he had a bad ass on the ground out back of the place, he'd flopped his tool and pissed on the rowdy's head.
Bad Chilli (1997)

Bill Roberts decided to rob the firecracker stand on account he didn't have a job and not a nickel's worth of money and his mother was dead and kind of freeze-dried in her bedroom.
Freezer Burn (1999)

1 comment:

Donna said...

Joe Lansdale's one of my top 5 authors, and I love his first lines. Here's another one from VANILLA RIDE:
"I hadn't been shot at in a while, and no one had hit me in the head for a whole month or two. It was kind of a record, and I was starting to feel special."

And from a short story called THE BIG BLOW:
"On an afternoon hotter than two rats fucking in a wool sock, John McBride, six-foot one-and-a-half inches, 20 pounds, ham-handed, built like a wild boor and of similar disposition, arrived by ferry from mainland Texas to Galveston Island, a six-gun under his coat and a razor in his shoe."

Sheer genius.