Posts Categorized: First Lines

First Lines: Het verdriet van België

Hugo Claus’s semi-autobiographical Het verdriet van België (The Sorrow of Belgium) is Belgium’s Big and Important Book about World War II. It covers a lot of themes — growing up, family, Flemish small-town life, collaboration — as seen through the eyes of an impressionable child. I found it a bit of a slog. Mostly, I… Read more »

First Lines: Strange Weather

Joe Hill just keeps getting better. I keep on liking every one of his books more than the previous one. Strange Weather is no exception. It collects four short novels, which are all quite, quite good. It starts off with “Snapshot”, where there is this guy stealing memories with some sort of Polaroid camera, and… Read more »

First Lines: La Belle Sauvage

Years ago, I was quite impressed by Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy, which is an uncompromising story about religion, authority, and individual freedom. Late last year, he published La Belle Sauvage, the first part of The Book of Dust trilogy, set in the same world. Set ten years before the events in His Dark… Read more »

First Lines: Dominee Gremdaat

Dominee Gremdaat is minister of unknown denomination who used to appear on TV a lot, and whom you probably have never of if you are not Dutch.* Back in in the 1990s two collection of his sermons were released. In his sermons, he does not dwell on theology, but rather on encounters he has had…. Read more »

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First Lines: The View from the Cheap Seats

The View from the Cheap Seats (ToC) is a collection of the selected non-fiction of Neil Gaiman. It’s a hodge-podge of essays, interviews, book introductions, speeches, and the like. Some of them I had read before, either online or as part of the Neil Gaiman Humble Bundle. What makes this collection work, I guess, is… Read more »