Monthly Archives: February 2016

First Lines: The Stepford Wives

Ira Levin’s The Stepford Wives, with its clear, crisp prose is nothing like the 2004 movie I once saw. And that’s a good thing, as it is much, much better. In fact, forget I even mentioned that. Stepford is just another American suburb: a nice little town, with a cozy center, perfect little houses with… Read more »

Posted , filed under First Lines & tagged with .

First Lines: The Scarlet Letter

Picking up a copy of The Scarlet Letter was a honest mistake: just after finishing my list of 40 books to read before my 40th birthday, I apparently couldn’t quite recall which book made the final cut. Turns out that Lady Chatterley’s Lover did, and this one did not. Sadly, I did not quite enjoy… Read more »

Posted , filed under First Lines & tagged with .

First Lines: De schrift betwist

The first time I read Maarten ’t Hart’s De schrift betwist (a bundling of Wie God verlaat heeft niets te vrezen and De bril van God, two earlier bundles of critical essays on the bible, first published as a monthly column in Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad) was in 2006, before I started doing these First… Read more »

First Lines: Shaking Hands with Death

In 2010, Sir Terry Pratchett gave the 34th Richard Dimbleby Lecture from the Royal College of Physicians in London. Titled Shaking Hands with Death, it dealt with his ‘embuggerance’ — a rare form of early onset Alzheimer’s — and our right to a dignified death. Terry Pratchett — Shaking Hands with Death (transcript) Following his… Read more »

First Lines: Catch-22

A former colleague of mine tried to steer me away me from reading Joseph Heller’s Catch-22. I cannot quite recall the exact wording, but he could not get into it all. But, as a) it is on my list of 40 books to read before I turn 40, and b) I can be quite stubborn… Read more »