Friday, July 20, 2012

Book Beginnings: Mr. Sammler's Planet


Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author's name.

TWITTER: If you are on Twitter, please tweet a link to your post using the hash tag #BookBeginnings. My Twitter handle is @GilionDumas.

MR. LINKY: Please leave a link to your post below. If you don't have a blog, but want to participate, please leave a comment with your Book Beginning.



MY BOOK BEGINNING



Shortly after dawn, or what would have been dawn in a normal sky, Mr. Artur Sammler with his bushy eye took in the books and papers of his West Side bedroom and suspected strongly that they were the wrong books, the wrong papers.

 -- Mr. Sammler's Planet by Saul Bellow. This won the National Book Award in 1971.  It counts as my second National winner for the 2012 Battle of the Prizes, American Version.

I really love Saul Bellow's books (Henderson the Rain King being the notable exception), but I only read one every couple of years because they are really rich.  I have to be in the mood to work a little.  The payoff is huge -- they are very entertaining, charming, funny, and just plain wonderful -- but they take some attention and thought.

17 comments :

Juli Rahel said...

It sounds great and I love the idea of knowing whether a book is right or wrong! Thanks for hosting! :)
Juli @ Universe in Words

Rowen said...

Sounds interesting. Not sure it'd be my cup of tea though from reading that.

Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow said...

I like it! I can do that, too; enter a room and know what is amiss.

Amber said...

"...dawn in a normal sky".

Very interesting.

pagesofjulia.com said...

That is an absolutely engrossing beginning.

Chris Thompson said...

Saul Bellow really does make you work. I enjoyed his Seize the Day, but haven't read much else. I'll keep this one in mind.

bibliosue said...

I like the mysterious nature of that sentence.

Bev Hankins said...

I'm intrigued by his "bushy" eye. And the idea that the books & papers might be "wrong."

Barbara said...

His "bushy eye"? I hate to admit it but I've never read Saul Bellow. Must try one of his books soon, maybe in the fall when my mind is sharper because the weather is cooler.

Maria said...

I like the beginning. I've never read anything by Saul Below.

fiction-books said...

Hi Gilion,

Those are great opening lines, however, if I had already read the synopsis, I doubt if I would have got as far as reading those lines, so they probably wouldn't make me want to read on.

I really would have to be in the right frame of mind to tackle something quite so 'heavy' and when I checked out the author and his books, I can tell that this heavy style, is obviously a trait which he applies to all his books.

I can see why you might only dip into his work occasionally, but thanks for sharing and hosting anyway.

Yvonne

Elspeth said...

I have never read anything by this author although judging from those first lines it seems like something I would enjoy.

Ruby said...

Great idea! I love this!

guiltless reader said...

the wrong books?

Gemma Wiseman said...

I so love "rich" books! This sounds engrossing! But, as you say, I need the time to give them attention! Often I choose school holidays for these!

srivalli said...

I read Augie March a long time back and enjoyed it. Great beginning!

J.G. said...

Uh-oh. I am supposed to be reading Henderson the Rain King for the BYRC. Having second thoughts now . . . But what an interesting first sentence here! "Bushy" has me intrigued, plus I'm thinking, what, did someone replace the contents while he was asleep?

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