The pastiche is a foreign country

(A mélange of famous first lines from novels)

All this happened, more or less.

If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like.

Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. In my younger and more vulnerable years my father (a green hunting cap squeezed atop his fleshy balloon of a head) gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since. He said “In our family, there was no clear line between religion and fly-fishing.”

“Call me Ishmael” he used to say. He was an old man who fished alone in a skiff in the Gulf Stream and he had gone eighty-four days now without taking a fish. For him, it was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

Then one bright cold day in April, as the clocks were striking thirteen, they came. Someone must have slandered him, for that morning, without having done anything truly wrong, he was arrested. A screaming came across the sky.

They say when trouble comes, close ranks, so you better not never tell nobody but God.


Cast (in order of appearance): Priestley, Vonnegut, Salinger, Tolstoy, Fitzgerald, Toole, Maclean, Melville, Hemingway, Dickens, Orwell, Kafka, Pynchon, Rhys, Walker)

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