FIRST LINE FRIDAYS

The idea is to grab a book you intend to start soon, and copy the first line(s). It is always fun to look back and wonder at your first impressions of the book’s first lines after one has read the book! Here are today’s first lines from Gary Paulsen’s Dogsong. Part One is called “The Trance,” and it opens with an epigraph:

I came wet into the world, /On both sides there were cliffs, /white cliffs that were my mother’s thighs. / And I didn’t cry though it was cold / by the white cliffs and I was afraid. / I came wet into the world.    (–an old Eskimo man relating the memory of his birth in a snow house on the sea ice)

The actual text begins as follows: “Russel Susskit rolled out of the bunk and put his feet on the floor and listened in the darkness to the sounds of morning. They were the same sounds he always heard, sounds he used to listen for.  Now in the small government house–sixteen by twenty–they grated like the ends of a broken bone.”

Goodness! That’s some start! The cover of the book declares it a Literature Connections publication and states it includes “Related Readings” and is a Newberry Honor Book. It is the cover that caused me to take it from the shelf.  It shows no less than seven pups in a “nest,” all intertwined and sleeping together, presumably to share each other’s warmth against the snow in the background.

I hope to start it this weekend.

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