July 05, 2004

A Literary Exercise

Okay, people. In the hope of drumming up a few comments from you slackers, I'm borrowing (READ: stealing) this little game from JimSpot:

1. Take five books off your bookshelf.
2. Book No. 1 -- first sentence.
3. Book No. 2 -- last sentence on page fifty.
4. Book No. 3 -- second sentence on page one hundred.
5. Book No. 4 -- next to the last sentence on page one hundred fifty.
6. Book No. 5 -- final sentence of the book.
7. Make the five sentences into a paragraph
(NOTE: it doesn't specify that the sentences have to be in order, so I say go ahead and mix 'em up.)

Cut and paste your paragraph into a comment.

Here's mine:

My search led me to the edge of the woods. It is semidesert here, everything burned up and dry except for a lake, a large reservoir of some sort below us. There were six of us to dinner that night at Mike Schofield's house in London: Mike and his wife and daughter, my wife and I, and a man called Richard Pratt. Once they moved him out, everything went downhill. Far from the end, it is only the beginning...

Damn...That came out well. I'd keep reading.

The Books (in order found in the paragraph):
* Wigfield, Amy Sedaris, Paul Dinello, Stephen Colbert
* Zen and the Art of Motorcycle maintenance, Robert Pirsig
* Roald Dahl's Tales of the Unexpected, Roald Dahl
* Lab 257: The Disturbing Story of the Government's Secret Plum Island Germ Laboratory, Michael Christopher Carrol
* Beyond Einstein: The Cosmic Quest for the Theory of the Universe, Michio Kaku and Jennifer Thompson


  1. She hasn't been dead four months and I've already eaten to the bottom of the deep freeze. Then I went back to my cellar, crawling down a ladder from the attic, and after quietly polishing off the bottle of rum and downing a beer chaser, I pickaxed my way through a mass of foul, sticky paper full of mice-made Swiss-cheese-like holes, and after another drink of beer I forked it into my drum, mouse paths and all, whole nests full of mice, because we'd been closed for two days to give me time to make a clean sweep of the cellar before inventory. Old Boudreau shook his head and said that it felt like a little hurricane and that meant a bad September for sure. Woodwind music filled the air, and, most wonderful of all, a small white island appeared just off the shore, bobbing on the waves like a raft; it was white as snow, with white sand sloping up to a clump of albino trees, which were white, chalk-white, paper-white, to the very tips of their leaves. This was one thing he hadn't figured on, in all his plans--the one slim chance he had overlooked completely.

    The books in order of the list and the paragraph. (Too lazy to mix and match)
    1. A Virtuous Woman, Kaye Gibbons
    2. Too Loud a Solitude, Bohumil Hrabal
    3. The Hard Blue Sky, Shirley Ann Grau
    4. The Satanic Verses, Salman Rushdie
    5. The Collected Stories of Richard Yates

  2. I only have two books on my desk at work right now, but here goes...

    "He was not merely awakened, but detonated out of an uncommonly long and repetitive dream. The switch-statement tests a value against a set of constants."

    Hmm... sort of Hemingway-esque.

  3. By the way, that was:
    1. Neal Stephenson, "The Confusion"
    2. Bjarne Stroustrup, "The C++ Programming Language"

  4. (From the only 5 books in my room, besides 501 Portuguese Verbs and a Japanese manga)

    My purpose, my sole purpose--believe me!--is merely to re-establish the truth. Sometimes when I want to be on my own I get into the airing cupboard outside the bathroom and slide in beside the boiler and pull the door closed behind me and sit there and think for hours and it makes me feel very calm. Se dirigió a varios gitanos que no entendieron su lengua. There's no more official torture here, there are no more 'disappeared.' Outside Rio and São Paulo there are good music shops, but they're few and far between: look in local papers to see if there are adverts for 'Loja de Disco' (record shop), with MPB or 'discos nacionais' mentioned in the advert.

    1. Home is the Sailor, Jorge Amado
    2. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, Mark Haddon
    3. Cien Años de Soledad, Gabriel García Márquez
    4. The Heart that Bleeds, Alma Guillermo Prieto
    5. The Rough Guide to Brazil, Fifth Edition

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