Thursday, January 7, 2016

Book Beginning: Earthly Powers


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.

EARLY BIRDS & SLOWPOKES: This weekly post goes up Thursday evening for those who like to get their posts up and linked early on. But feel free to add a link all week.

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TIE IN: The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice is a natural tie in with this event and there is a lot of cross over, so many people combine the two. The idea is to post a teaser from page 56 of the book you are reading and share a link to your post. Find details and the Linky for your Friday 56 post on Freda’s Voice.



It was the afternoon of my eighty-first birthday, and I was in bed with my catamite when Ali announced that the archbishop had come to see me.

Earthly Powers by Anthony Burgess. BEST OPENING SENTENCE EVER.

Sorry, I thought that deserved all caps. I've only read A Clockwork Orange, with mixed feelings, so I've let this one sit on my TBR shelf for too long. It is fantastic!

The narrator is a fairly famous, now old, English author asked to help canonize his former brother-in-law, the recently deceased Pope. Having early on broken -- reluctantly -- with the Church over his homosexuality, the request sends him into a reverie of his decades-long relationship with the priest who became the Pope who now may become a saint, as well as the state of his own soul.

I'm only 100 or so pages in with 500 to go, so I don't know what awaits, but I love it so far.

Since this is set, at least in the beginning, in Malta, it counts as my first book in the 2016 European Reading Challenge. There is still plenty of time to sign up! Click the link or the button below.


guiltless reader said...

Now I would definitely keep reading because of that beginning!

Bev Bouwer said...

You are right, that is a great opening. Hope the rest of the book live up to expectations.

Lauren Stoolfire said...

That sounds really good! Happy reading!

fredamans said...

I hope I see 81. :-)

Yvonne@fiction-books said...

Hi Gilion,

I have never read, or seen the film of, 'A Clockwork Orange', so this probably wouldn't be one for me.

Judging by the ratings and reviews I read, 'Earthly Powers' is another of those books you either love or hate, although I do like the version of cover art you featured.

Thanks for sharing and enjoy your weekend :)


William Stanger said...

I might have to check this one out. It sounds interesting from this beginning. A Clockwork Orange is the only one of his books I've read as well.

LuAnn Braley said...

I wonder what caused the narrator more stress, being caught in bed with a boy, or the request to help canonize a priest with whom he had had a 'decades long relationship', and who later became Pope.

Sherry Fundin said...

I am not familiar with the author, but I am glad you are enjoying the book.
sherry @ fundinmental Friday Memes

Lisa Ks Book Reviews said...

I never read Clockwork Orange, and have never heard of this one. Happy you're enjoying it. I'd love for you to check out mine at

Anonymous said...

ooh, sounds good! glad to be back here

Elizabeth said...

I love the beginning sentence.


Happy Weekend!!

Silver's Reviews
My Book Beginnings

Marie Dougan said...

Hope you're enjoying your read. It sounds interesting.

Katherine P said...

That's a pretty great opener! I haven't read this or Clockwork Orange but I'm intrigued!

Diane Coto said...

Nice opening. Hope you're enjoying the rest of the book. All the best to you! :)
@dino0726 from 
FictionZeal - Impartial, Straightforward Fiction Book Reviews

Fiza Halliwell said...

It's not my usual type of book but I'm loving the sound of it! Plus that cover is really pretty. Think I'll be adding this one to my tbr.

Our BB

Amy said...

Makes me wonder why the Archbishop is coming to see her. It wouldn't really make me read on though. I hope you enjoy! x

Mandy Sickle said...

I haven't heard of this one before. However it sounds interesting. I'm curious to see how you like it. Have a great weekend.

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