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Home » Books & writing

First Impressions 5.25.12

Submitted by on May 25, 2012 – 12:13 am 7 Comments

I received nine books this week, and only two had interesting openers. The others began with descriptions of weather (blue sky, sunny day, rain, humidity), scenery (lake, houses), or people doing mundane things (walking, driving, eating). Some included two or all of these categories.

These were the two openers that wasted no time in getting my attention.

The Absent One by Jussi Adler-Olsen, Dutton, out August 21


Another shot echoed over the treetops.

The beaters’ calls had grown clearer. A throbbing pulse was thundering against my eardrums, the damp air forcing its way into my lungs so fast and hard that it hurt.

Run, run, don’t fall.  I’ll never get up again if I do. Fuck, fuck. Why can’t I get my hands free? Oh, run, run…shhhh. Can’t let them hear me. Did they hear me? Is this it? Is this really how my life is going to end?

The Facility by Simon Lelic, Penguin, out August 28

Welcome. Come in, sit down. Would you like some coffee? Muffin? They’re yesterday’s but they’re fine. There’s blueberry and chocolate and a lemon one with some kind of seed. Sesame, he thinks but his friend cuts in. Poppy, the friend says. Lemon and poppyseed. His personal favourite. Low fat too, he adds and he winks. And Arthur is saying, no, no thank you, and for the second time since entering the room he says, who are you? What is this about? And that is when they ask. They give him coffee even though he said no and they say, so, Arthur: do you like cock?

Do these intrigue you? Wanna know more about what kind of interview Arthur is having?

Special thanks to my friend Lauren, who was so determined to see this post up today, she took dictation over the phone and typed this out for me because I’m still in traction.

Have a safe, wonderful holiday weekend!



  • Paulette says:

    Traction? What did I miss? Well, besides the normal things I miss….hope you are well! I am intrigued by both of these. The second one is probably due to the muffins, day old or not! Whoops, boarding now…more later.

  • Lauren says:

    Ok, it is NO secret how much I have anticipated Jussi’s second entry since closing the cover of The Keeper of Lost Causes. HOWEVER, this Simon Lelic opening just cracks me up. I almost fall asleep during the muffin parts, only to be rudely awakened by a c***. It just makes me laugh every time. For some reason, the humor I find in it reminds me of Naomi, methinks she’d get a kick out of the dichotomy of that opening. Makes me want to read it, that’s for sure. What other surprises await?

  • In traction? Oh no! I had to go back to your last post to see what I missed. So so sorry you’re not feeling well.

    As for the books, one says fuck and the other sounds a bit humorous in its presentation. I’m curious. And seriously, it’s all because of Beat the Reaper that I absolutely love the word fuck in crime fiction. He’s such a creative cursing person. (I don’t know what else to call that.)

  • Hope you’re feeling fit soon. I’d skip both of these books. Read something you’ve really been wanting to read instead.

  • I have the Keeper of Lost Causes, must read soon….. I also want to try Simon L this year.

    Great great post, I agree both openers are perfect.

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