Bookworm Ballot: What’s your Favorite First Page?

by Derwood Hunsdale-Talbot on July 22, 2008

Novice worms judge books by their covers, but seasoned book-readers often give a prospective tome what’s known as the First Page Test. As the name suggests, a quick scan of the book’s opening prose determines whether it goes in the back or back on the shelf. No wonder novelists agonize over their first page so much!

For a true bookworm, there’s nothing like the warm-fuzzy feeling when a book passes the First Page Test with flying colors, and you feel the thrill of anticipation that you are about to get wrapped up in some fabulous, bound-to-be-future-favorite tale.

So the question we put to you today is, do you have a favorite first page? For me, my very favorite first page comes from The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd. It is everything a good first page should be, featuring a strong narrative voice, compelling characters, beautiful prose, and most importantly, the mysterious seeds of what was obviously going to be a great story.

Here is the first paragraph to get your wheels spinning:

“At night I would lie in bed and watch the show, how bees squeezed through the cracks of my bedroom wall and flew circles around the room, making that propeller sound, a high-pitched zzzz that hummed against my skin. I watched their wings shining like bits of chrome in the dark and felt the longing build in my chest. The way those bees flew, not even looking for a flower, just flying for the feel of the wind, split my heart at its seam.”

What is your favorite first page, and why? Please leave a comment after the jump!

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Written Word » Blog Archive » Bohemian Ballot: To Kindle or Not To Kindle?
July 30, 2008 at 11:55 am

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Elizabeth July 23, 2008 at 10:39 am

Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca. “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again. It seemed to me I stood by the iron gate leading to the drive, and for a while I could not enter for the way was barred to me.”

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