Frederick Forsyth, another one of my favorite authors. I've read The Odessa File (New York: Bantam Books 1992) twice if not more. I know how it turns out and I reread it again because getting there is so amazing.
So here it is:
There was a thin robin's-egg-blue dawn coming up over Tel Aviv when he intelligence analyst finished typing his report.What does this tell us? It's a clear day. The intelligence analyst has been working all night, so something must be up, unless he always works nights in which case it's just another day in his life. We are told it's a beautiful day dawning, suggesting good things maybe on the way, but the use of the adjective "robin's-egg-blue" attributes a kind of fragility to the coming dawn as if something bad could well happen.
Well, kind of a limited start. But the first sentence has to do less work this time around because, if for no other reason, Mr. Forsyth is well know from his books, including Day of the Jackal, from which a brilliant movie was made, and which, by the way he had a lot of trouble getting published which tells you what the hell publishers know--Nothing. And if the reader doesn't know about the author already, the Author's note and the Foreward do a lot of the work for it.
What do you think? Do you have a favorite book or first sentence? Tell me. Post a comment. I'd like to know. And follow me on Twitter.com
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