Saturday, December 5, 2009

Opening Sentence of the Day: The Italian Lover

"Saturday night."

-- The Italian Lover by Robert Hellenga

What is with the books I'm reading lately and their lame opening non-sentences?

Here's the whole first paragraph:

Saturday night. End of September. Florence, Italy. Margot Harrington excused herself from a table at Il Fiasco in Via dei Servi, saying that if she had another grappa she'd be too tired to walk home and that if she drank another espresso she'd never get to sleep.
Now, starting with that last sentence -- the first full sentence of the bunch -- would have been a bang-up way to start the story. Skip the stepping stones and go straight to the front door.


  1. It's one of those awkward openings, no? Sometimes they really suit the book but I feel like in this case it is just, as you said, a little lame...

  2. Can't WAIT to hear what you think about the rest of this one. The first Margot Harrington novel (The Sixteen Pleasures) is one of my very favorite books of all time.

    I just hope Hellenga doesn't turn out to be one of those authors who just has one good book in him, which he already wrote. I was disappointed in his second novel, but it wasn't about Margot.

  3. Marie -- Thanks!

    Biblio -- Sometimes openings like that can set the mood. This one just feels like stutter steps to me.

    J.G. -- I also loved 16 Pleasures. I also likes Fall of a Sparrow, although, like you, many people didn't care for it. Be prepared, though -- this one combines the characters from both! Margot and Woody hook up.

  4. Oh, Margot, I'm so disappointed in you, hooking up with that jerk Woody. You can so do better.



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