Friday, September 17, 2010

Book Beginnings | Death in the Afternoon

It's Friday again, and time for Book Beginnings (sponsored by Becky at 'Page Turners').

Without further ado, here's the opening line from Hemingway's "Death in the Afternoon":


"At the first bullfight I ever went to I expected to be horrified and perhaps sickened by what I had been told would happen to the horses."
 
This opening line has everything that Hemingway intended.  You feel that you don't really want to know what is going to happen to the horses, because you can pretty much guess.  That said, you still kind of want to know and it makes you want to read on.  Another example of Hemingway playing with you right away.  A strong literary technique to open a book, in my opinion.  What do you think?

8 comments:

Teacher/Learner said...

That's probably the most powerful opening line I've ever heard. It can open the doors to so many stories: personal strife, sacrifice, power...This is going on the TBR list...thanks!

Suzanne said...

Interesting sentence -- I'd wonder why he wasn't concerned about what would happen to the bulls.

brandileigh2003 said...

Just hopping by to say hello! I am following and can’t wait to read more from your blog. Here is my blog

Eclectic Indulgence said...

Teacher/Learner,
So far, I'm not all that impressed with the work. It is definitely well written (and with a unique eye), but I had no idea I was setting myself up to read work of non-fiction.

It's not as quieting to me as Hemingway's fictional work... which seems to silence my everyday world and replace it with wonder and simplicity.

Cat said...

It is a strong opening but I'm not sure I would want to read on.

Tiger Holland said...

Blog-hopping by to visit and follow. A great opener--Hemingway always seemed to do a lot with a very few plainspoken words. I was more into Faulkner--lots of extra artistic (and Southern) language usage. :-)

http://tigersallconsumingbooks.blogspot.com

Stray said...

hi, im anew follower through the hop. have a great weekend!

booksarelikepeople.blogspot.com

Becky (Page Turners) said...

I think that is the best opening line I have read this week, and for many weeks.