Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Opening Sentence of the Day: One Good Turn

"He was lost."

-- One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson.

Not a riveting opening sentence. But within a few paragraphs, we are right in the thick of things, with a random act of road rage that sets off the second Jackson Brodie mystery.

Kate Atkinson is brilliant.  All the cliches apply to her -- a gimlet eye, tart observations, keen wit, etc., etc.  She could write about a trip to the hardware store and it would be an exemplar of subtle, spot-on observations about human nature, contemporary culture, and family relationships.

My problem with Atkinson is that I don't want to "use up" her books, so I put off reading them. I have to remind myself that they aren't going anywhere. I can always read them again.


  1. I have not read the final book in the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy for this very reason...I know that when I'm done, there are no more. :( Putting this one on my TBR list :):)

  2. I can put books off till Christmas by hiding them in cupboards and calling them presents. Once they're out where I can see them, no way.

    This sounds like one to read (or hide till Christmas)

  3. Peppermint -- I just started Dragon Tattoo and am enjoying it much more than I thought I would. I was put off my the hype, and worried it would be too violent for me. But OK so far, and much more complex than I had thought it would be.

    Sheila -- Your Christmas idea is a good one! Although, I have way too many TBR books to hide them away. But with so many, individual volumes are easy to loose track of.

    Start with the first of this series -- Case Histories -- because it explains a lot about the hero that makes the second volume make sense.

  4. I will have to read one of her books. See her books all the time. Never picked one up.

  5. You put me onto Kate Atkinson, and I burned through her in less than a season.


  6. I enjoyed One Good Turn but I found When Will There Be Good News to be quite dark and depressing. But maybe it was my mood at the time of reading it. I'll be interested in what you think of it when you get around to it.


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