Woooooooo-The opening of Ali Smith’s novel, Hotel World. I get a proper boner for this.
hooooooo what a fall what a soar what a plummet what a dash into dark into light what a plunge what a glide thud crash what a drop what a rush what a swoop what a fright what a mad hushed skirl what a smash mush mash-up broke and gashed what a heart in my mouth what an end.
He turned the horse and set out along the road south, shadowless in the gray day, riding with the shotgun unscabbarded across the bow of the saddle. For the enmity of the world was newly plain to him that day and cold and inameliorate as it must be to all who have no longer cause except themselves to stand against it.
From The Crossing, by Cormac McCarthy.
It’s lines like this that make trawling through the great swathes of Spanish worthwhile.
Rings that widen on the surface of a loch above a thrown-in stone. A drink of water offered to a thirsty traveller on the road. Nothing more than what happens when things come together, when hydrogen, say, meets oxygen, or a story from then meets a story from now, or stone meets water meets girl meets boy meets bird meets hand meets wing meets bone meets light meets dark meets eye meets word meets world meets grain of sand meets thirst meets hunger meets need meets dream meets real meets same meets different meets death meets life meets end meets beginning all over again, the story of nature itself, ever-inventive, making one thing out of another, and one thing into another, and nothing lasts, and nothing’s lost, and nothing ever perishes, and things can always change, because things will always change, and things will always be different, because things can always be different.From Girl Meets Boy by Ali Smith. Absolutely brilliant.
I’m not one for internet memes, but I am one for reading, so I’ll take sniffyjenkins’ lead on this one…
“Not the best 15 books you’ve ever read, or even ones you’d recommend to others. Just 15 books that have made their mark on you and will always stick with you, for whatever reason. Supposed to be done in 15 minutes.”
Margaret Mitchell - Gone With The Wind
Christopher Pike - Sati
Yann Martel - Life Of Pi
Kurt Vonnegut - Slapstick
John Updike - Rabbit Run (In fact, all the Rabbit books, but I don’t want to use up five of my choices…)
Ali Smith - The Accidental
Will Self - The Book Of Dave
Truman Capote - In Cold Blood
Cormac McCarthy - The Road
Ken Kesey- One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest
Douglas Coupland - Generation X
Andrey Kurkov - Death And The Penguin
Adam Marek - Instruction Manual For Swallowing
Kevin Brockmeier - The Brief History Of The Dead
Paul Auster - The Book Of Illusions
Most of these are books that I read a wee while ago now, apart from Generation X and The Road. They’ve largely been chosen because I still find myself bringing them up in conversations regularly.