October 23, 2008 at 9:53 am Kate
I stole this from the book blog Reading Adventures (a “Blog of Note” this week) and thought it was an easy way to get a vaguely interesting post out. It’s also a fairly decent way to keep you even vaguely interested in the books I’m reading currently.
Here’s the deal: I have grabbed the books I have in the “On The Shelf” bar to your right, flipped to a random page, and chose two sentences between lines 7 and 12 on that page. Ready? Okay –
The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
“They also wanted ‘For Those Who Willingly Made The Supreme Sacrifice’ to be written on the front. Father refused to back down on the sculpture, saying they could consider themselves lucky the Weary Soldier had two arms and two legs, not to mention a head, and that if they didn’t watch out he’d go for bare-naked realism all the way and the statue would be made of rotting body fragments, of which he had stepped on a good many in his day.”
Lolita by Valdimir Nabokov
“I watched dark-and-handsome, not un-Celtic, probably high-church, very high-church, Dr Humbert see his daughter off to school. I watched him greet with his slow smile and pleasantly arched thick black ad-eyebrows good Mrs Holigan, who smelled of the plague (and would head, I knew, for master’s gin at the first opportunity).”
The Romance of the Forest by Ann Radcliffe
“All was dark and silent. She called aloud for help, but no person appeared; and the windows were so high, that it was impossible to escape unassisted.”
Let me just add briefly here that the above teaser is typical of The Romance of the Forest, in which the heroine is constantly calling for help in the middle of the most deserted situations and then pacing, wringing her hands and crying until (most improbably) someone rescues her. At this point she usually faints, and the hapless rescuer is forced to either carry her out of her imprisonment or to stay until she recovers and try to fend off whomever might come to investigate.
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