Posts Categorized: First Lines

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 »

First Lines: NOS4R2

The Missus and I can’t split up anymore, and it’s all Joe Hill’s fault. At a book signing in an excellent bookstore in London, he asked us if we were really sure he should put both our names in this copy of NOS4R2, and we said we were. He was a bit hesitant, because at… Read more »

First Lines: Trigger Warning

Neil Gaiman’s latest volume of collected short fictions and disturbances, Trigger Warning (table of contents), is a hoot. For this post, I was going to dump a load of links to you, but as I could mostly find links to readings of the work, I won’t. Take, for example, “Click-Clack the Rattlebag”, which is an… Read more »