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Standing in a bookstore the other day I picked up a copy of Henry Miller's Sexus which I have not read. I could've stayed there all afternoon. The first paragraph sunk its claws in and I was floored.
 
I then thought it might be interesting to hear of anyone who has been drawn to a book by what they've read immediately upon opening it. What are the great first paragraphs of literature?

 

 

I had the same reaction when I first came across Miller's "Tropic of Cancer" many years ago. His bold prose just drew me in right away. After that book I went on a bit of a Miller binge. I've also had similar experiences with books by Charles Bukowski (Women), Raymond Carver (What We Talk About When We Talk About Love), Knut Hamsun (Hunger), Vladimir Nabokov (Lolita), Frederick Exley (A Fan's Notes), Hunter S. Thompson (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas), J.D. Salinger (Catcher in the Rye). I could go on but those are a few that pop to mind that grabbed me from the first page.

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What these guys went through is just horrifying.

 

I should read that. It sounds powerful. My dad was in the Pacific Theatre...he was one of the paratroopers who jumped on Corregidor to retake it from the Japanese. His stories were amazing.

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A month ago I picked up at the library (1 buck!) Wallace's "Infinite Jest" which I've studiously avoided reading since its release in 96. I can no longer put this off.....so I started the behemoth this morning.

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A month ago I picked up at the library (1 buck!) Wallace's "Infinite Jest" which I've studiously avoided reading since its release in 96. I can no longer put this off.....so I started the behemoth this morning.

Good luck. I've tried several times and just can't deal with it. I'm a quitter like that, I suppose. Makes a nice paperweight, though.

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The prospect of lugging that thing on my daily commute is daunting. We'll see....I've never been able to finish anything else by Wallace so....this attempt may be shortlived.

 

I'm gonna weigh it tonite just to see what it weighs.....I'm guessing 4 lbs.

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Halfway through this. Not exactly a compelling read but there's enough here to keep me going.

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A month ago I picked up at the library (1 buck!) Wallace's "Infinite Jest" which I've studiously avoided reading since its release in 96. I can no longer put this off.....so I started the behemoth this morning.

I'm going on a long trip by myself next month and was thinking of bringing that with me.  I've owned it for years and never cracked it.  My theory is that if it is the only book I have, putting it down won't be an option.

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I'm going on a long trip by myself next month and was thinking of bringing that with me.  I've owned it for years and never cracked it.  My theory is that if it is the only book I have, putting it down won't be an option.

 

Go for it!

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I made myself read the whole of Infinite Jest a couple of years ago. It did have some good moments, but I remember finishing it and sincerely wishing I had spent the time instead on several other books. It was pretentious in the extreme, to me, and often horribly disjointed. Not an enjoyable read. Afterwards, the sensation was as though I had managed to slog through some bizarre lit class magical realism novel. One that went on far too long.

 

That said, peace to those of you who adored it, and I know there are many. :cheekkiss It sure wasn't my cup of tea, and I remember very little of the plot.

 

I have been immersed in this:

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And I do mean, immersed...like, I began the book the day before yesterday, and had to force myself to put it down today or I would have finished it. It's the story of a NY Post writer who succumbed to an autoimmune disease in which her brain was attacked. It begins with odd physical sensations and progresses to to jarring personality changes and further physical deterioration, as her doctors struggle to diagnose a condition that has possibly existed throughout history, but has only recently begun to be understood. It's wonderfully told, fascinating and riveting. Early on many believe her condition is strictly psychiatric...can you imagine watching your life, your body, your brain, fall to pieces, without a clue what is going on? It's an amazing story, and a really frightening one since it could really be any one of us. Cahalan is lucky to be alive. Many medical researchers now wonder if conditions currently diagnosed as schizophrenia or autism may in fact be brains ravaged by this disease. 

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A month ago I picked up at the library (1 buck!) Wallace's "Infinite Jest" which I've studiously avoided reading since its release in 96. I can no longer put this off.....so I started the behemoth this morning.

Congrats! On of my top 5 books of all time (maybe #1). I am jealous of you being able to read for 1st time. Enjoy the journey!

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A month ago I picked up at the library (1 buck!) Wallace's "Infinite Jest" which I've studiously avoided reading since its release in 96. I can no longer put this off.....so I started the behemoth this morning.

 

I bought it last year and still have not started.  Waiting for just the right time...

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I made myself read the whole of Infinite Jest a couple of years ago. It did have some good moments, but I remember finishing it and sincerely wishing I had spent the time instead on several other books. It was pretentious in the extreme, to me, and often horribly disjointed. Not an enjoyable read. Afterwards, the sensation was as though I had managed to slog through some bizarre lit class magical realism novel. One that went on far too long.

 

That said, peace to those of you who adored it, and I know there are many. :cheekkiss It sure wasn't my cup of tea, and I remember very little of the plot.

 

I have been immersed in this:

13547180.jpg

 

And I do mean, immersed...like, I began the book the day before yesterday, and had to force myself to put it down today or I would have finished it. It's the story of a NY Post writer who succumbed to an autoimmune disease in which her brain was attacked. It begins with odd physical sensations and progresses to to jarring personality changes and further physical deterioration, as her doctors struggle to diagnose a condition that has possibly existed throughout history, but has only recently begun to be understood. It's wonderfully told, fascinating and riveting. Early on many believe her condition is strictly psychiatric...can you imagine watching your life, your body, your brain, fall to pieces, without a clue what is going on? It's an amazing story, and a really frightening one since it could really be any one of us. Cahalan is lucky to be alive. Many medical researchers now wonder if conditions currently diagnosed as schizophrenia or autism may in fact be brains ravaged by this disease. 

 

I remember reading something about that book a while back and it definitely intrigued me.  However, I don't think I can read it.  Ever since my hospitalization, I've suffered through various degrees of health-related anxiety.  I'm afraid that book could turn into the most horrific thing I could ever read.

 

Also, I have no desire to ever read Infinite Jest.

 

Finally, I just committed to a bunch of books I bought for the Kindle.  I'm not sure what order I'll go in, though:

 

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Start it while you're still young, Moss, if you want to finish it.

 

Purely for transportation issues, I think I'm gonna cut the book in half and separate the footnotes from the second half. I'm certain Wallace will bear me no ill will.

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