Months ago I started a discussion asking what the first paragraph of your current read was (since have discovered some great books this way). I have been thinking for a wee while that I'd like to get some more and as I have just started a book with a cracking first paragraph I thought now might be a good time:


'I opened my eyes to see the rat taking a piss in my coffee mug. It was a huge brown bastard; had a body like a turd with legs and beady black eyes full of secret rat knowledge. Making a smug huffing sound, it threw itself from the table to the floor, and scuttled back into the hole in the wall where it had spent the last three months planning new ways to screw me around. I'd tried nailing wood over the gap in the wainscot, but it gnawed through it and spat the wet pieces into my shoes. After that, I spiked bait with warfarin, but the poison seemed to somehow cause it to evolve and become a super-rat. I nailed it across the eyes once with a lucky shot with the butt of my gun, but it got up again and shat in my telephone.'

Brilliant :o) No way I can't read on after that. Although I do wish I hadn't been eating lunch at the time.

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I have trouble with the logistics of the coffee mug maneuver. Rats have little legs.

I'm probably being too literal here, but when I see passages like this I smell "a rat" about just creating any sort of scenario that will gross out the reader and make him wish for more.
For me it was funny, immediately drew me in and made me want to read more. Different strokes and all that. Not all books with great openings continue that way (this one is as it happens - weird, funny and bizarre). Some books which start off with a 'dull' opening paragraph are great books. I'm just attracted by first paragraphs and this one worked for me. So my reason in posting this was to find others that attract me with a first paragraph. It works for me - I've found some great books this way. It gives me a flavour for the rest of the book and appeals to my warped sense of humour. This one says quirky and grimy. I like quirky and grimy.
Ha - that's mint, Donna, I'd have read on, too, lol! I'd like to offer up Adam Spark...

Thunderclap! Theme music! Adam, prince of eternia, raises his sword roars i have the power then lo and behold - hes heman! Most powerful dude in the known yooniverse dudes. He grtis his teeth grrr wields his sword and the evil forces of skeletor get ready to attack. Beastman. Trapjaw. Evil-lyn. Skeletor laughs throws back his skeleheid. Lightnin' strikes! All goes dark ooooh. The forces of good look doooomed dudes.

And I know I'm knocking on an open door with that one, too, but I love it!
Jools - the door is not only open it's off it's hinges and they've ripped part of the wall out to build an enormous squooshy slide that says "All welcome". Plus, they're giving away free honeycom ice cream to anyone who comes in. I LOVE that book. Kuncks, you're right - he deserves more attention.
One of my current favorites as well.

I.J., I understand the logistics problem, but there's that "secret rat knowledge."
Dusty, it was your earlier comment on RAM that made me choose this one over the other one that I'm dying to get to - so thanks!
My guess is that the rat was gnawing into a box of Kleenex situated right next to the coffee, back end already facing the open mug. Damn, these tissues taste like crap, not a patch on Sorbent, he thinks, then takes a leak to vent the stress.

But there was a question to answer here, and I offer John Connolly's THE KILLING KIND (I know, it's two paragraphs):

This is a honeycomb world. It hides a hollow heart.

The truth of nature, wrote the philosopher Democritus, lies in deep mines and caves. The stability of what is seen and felt beneath our feet is an illusion, for this life is not as it seems. Below the surface, there are cracks and fissures and pockets of stale, trapped air; stalagmites and helactites and unmapped dark rivers that flow ever downward. It is a place of caverns and stone waterfalls, a labyrinth of crystal tumors and frozen columns where history becomes future, then becomes now.
Daniel, I'm kind, you can have 2 paragraphs :o)
That one I like a lot.
"Every April my mother used to host her own version of the traditional Passove seder. A mishmash of Hebrew, Yiddish, English and Russian, it involved all mom's old union pals-Jews, Christians, Muslims, and pagans- who'd give rapid fire thanks for the release of the ancient Hebrews from Egyptian bondage, and then launch into pre-chicken soup tirades against General Motors, J. Edgar Hoover, and the FBI. I grew up thinking they were part of the religion."

Linda Barnes' character, Carlotta Carlyle in Snap Shot
This is the first paragraph of my book, Requiem For A Vampire.

Her eyes fluttered open. How long had she been asleep? Unconscious? Dead? She felt dead, for although her senses seemed to be more finely tuned than ever before in her life, Lani could not feel her heart beating. She felt so cold, not only on the outside, but also throughout her inner being. Every nerve ending tingled with cold.
From SHUTTER ISLAND, by Dennis Lehane:

I haven't laid eyes on the island in several years. The last time was from a friend's boat that ventured into the outer harbor, and I could see it off in the distance, past the inner ring, shrouded in the summer haze, a careless smudge of paint against the sky.

Yo, Donna. That rat thing is pretty cool.)



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