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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » Page 56, 5th line of your Favorite Book.

   
Author Topic: Page 56, 5th line of your Favorite Book.
InarticulateBabbler
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I got to thinking about what the difference would be between a "favorite" and just "the closest one at hand", so I started this thread.

From my favorite book:

quote:

As the Moon Man helped her from the car, the driver opened an umbrella and held it over her royal, ancient head.


- Boy's Life by Robert R. McCammon

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annepin
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I have two many favorite books to count. Here are a couple.

quote:
He gave me two, the only chariot-horses he had.

The Bull from the Sea by Mary Renault.


quote:
"I mean, every single fag--"

The Secret History by Donna Tartt.

[This message has been edited by annepin (edited December 03, 2008).]


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steffenwolf
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Not sure exactly what my favorite is, but this one's close:

He clapped a hand over his mouth and slowly turned in a complete circle, looking at the place to which Speedy's "magic juice" had brought him.

The Talisman, by Stephen King and Peter Straub

Hey that one turned out pretty good! Mentioning a major character's name and catching it right smack-dab on a major reveal of a vital setting.


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aspirit
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quote:
Instantly he flipped around, his feet flying over his head, and landed flat on his back against the wall.

- Ender's Game by OSC

I was one of many, many children who considered the book sacred because it included crippling issues most adults believed (believe?) don't exist in a child's world and so refuse to address. The combination of Card's concise writing style and complex storytelling continue to impress me in adulthood.


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Robert Nowall
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Minor problem: some of my favorites come in multiple editions, particuarly some in public domain, so page fifty-six will be different on each one.

Meanwhile...

" 'In which case you were also meant to have it.' "

J. R. R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, in the edition I have closest to me as I type this in.


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Unwritten
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No Monk (I think it was you), I am not sucking up, but...
Speaker For The Deadby Orson Scott Card
quote:
She had not realized it before, but she had been planning to do this all her life, ever since she first read and was captured by the Hive Queen and the Hegemon.

I hadn't realized how much more complex the sentence structure is in OSC's first books compared to Ender In Exile. That's very interesting.

Another favorite:
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

quote:
"It's not funny, Ron," said Hermione sharply.


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Cheyne
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I fudged this a little because the fifth sentence was a two word piece of dialogue revealing little style:

At first I had thought Dan Needham was a fool like all the
others, and that he didn't know the first thing about six-year-olds-that to tell a six-year-old not to open a bag was an invitation to open it-but he knew very well what a six-year-old was like; to his credit, Dan Needham was always a little bit of a six-year-old himself.
-A Prayer for Owen Meany- John Irving

Don't dream that you know this story because you saw "Simon Birch" there is a reason that they had to change the name.


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Robert Nowall
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"Even the Tooks (with a few exceptions) thought Bilbo's behaviour was absurd."

---from The Lord of the Rings, again, but from an old Ballantine paperback of Volume One.


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aspirit
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Robert, I immediately went for my (1994) paperback copy; it's a more familiar format, I guess. However, I prefer the 1991 version of Ender's Game, which I own in hardcover.

quote:
"We are the fire that will consume them, belly and bowel, head and heart, many flames of us, but one fire."

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snapper
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In At The Death by Harry Turtledove.

Eleventh and last book of an excellent alternate history series about an America where the South won the Civil War.

When he did, he almost wished the Negroes had dragged her into an alley and done their worst.


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InarticulateBabbler
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My second favorite--as was reminded by a couple of recent posts--and most influential maybe:

quote:
Only Gandalf had shaken his head and said nothing.

- The Hobbit by (the truly immortal) Professor J. R. R. Tolkien

Edited to add: Now, cross-match your favorite book answer, with your nearest fiction book answer. How different is the prose? Better? Cleaner? Dirtier? What makes the nearest not your favorite?

Interesting, the conversations we've had about prose and voice and person/PoV lately, because my suggestion was along those lines. Your "favorite" being the control piece, how does other work match up? And why or where--if so--does it fail? Furthermore, does prose, author's promise, description or PoV stand out or fade into the background?

[This message has been edited by InarticulateBabbler (edited December 12, 2008).]


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missjack
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Favorite book:
"Buttercup thought she was entitled to do nothing more than sit around moping and feeling sorry for herself." (The Princess Bride, by William Goldman)

And...

Closest fiction I'm reading:
"It was already one in the morning; the rain pattered dismally against the panes, and my candle was nearly burnt out, when, by the glimmer of the half-extinguished light, I saw the dull, yellow eye of the creature open; it breathed hard and a convulsive motion agitated its limbs." (Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley-- bwahaha... good line choice. Hm.)


The differences in these two are pretty obvious. One is very high style, the other is low style. William Goldman has simple, to the point prose, and nineteen year old Mary Shelley is almost a bit flowery with hers. Both good, for very different reasons.


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C L Lynn
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missjack, I love The Princess Bride! Good choice. Personally, I might choose one of George R. R. Martin's novels, for their energy and enormous character population, but right now I feel a particular fondness for William Peter Blatty's "The Exorcist." Sick, huh? I made myself read it so I would no longer have nightmares about the movie. The therapy worked. Here's the quote:

"Beginning on the day after Regan's birthday--and following Howard's failure to call--she had noticed a sudden and dramatic change in her daughter's behavior and disposition."


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Monk
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Unwritten wrote:

quote:
No Monk (I think it was you), I am not sucking up, but...

It was, but I hope you got that it was said jokingly with the " ".

-W.

[This message has been edited by Monk (edited December 15, 2008).]


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Unwritten
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I did get that, and I was right back atcha.
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steffenwolf
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Wasn't The Princess Bride written by S. Morganstern?
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Zero
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I think that's a pseudonym.
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steffenwolf
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Thanks. I did actually know that, hence the wink.
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Doc Brown
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It is not a novel, but here is page 56, Line 5 of the best book ever written:

quote:
This helmet was a home-made number. There had never been any such thing as a crash helmet before.

Tom Wolfe, The Right Stuff.


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Zero
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Unfortunately page 56 only has one line. It reads: "Chapter Eight: Awakening"
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Zero
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But page 57's fifth line is: "His swollen head felt like a giant melon--and there was a pulsating pain,
like a knife stabbing his temples over and over."

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Zero
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quote:
Thanks. I did actually know that, hence the wink.

I never was good at interpreting body language.

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