The Bean Trees, by Barbara Kingsolver

by Derwood Hunsdale-Talbot on April 30, 2010

Opening lines: I have been afraid of putting air in a tire ever since I saw a tractor tire blow up and throw New Hardbine’s father over the top of the Standard Oil sign. I’m not lying. He got stuck up there. About nineteen people congregated during the time it took for Norman Strick to walk up to the Courthouse and blow the whistle for the volunteer fire department. They eventually did come with the ladder and haul him down, and he wasn’t dead but los his hearing an din many other ways was never the same afterward. They said he overfilled the tire.”

Mr. Derwood Hunsdale-Talbot’s comments:

This has, and continues to be (possibly for eternity), my very favorite set of opening lines in any book. Ever.

Try reading it with a Kentucky accent.

Alternatively, go to Louisville. Find yourself a nice looking chap, and have him read it to you, quietly and into your ear. Maybe the stubble he’s just trying on for size will graze the edge of your ear lobe. Maybe your life will never be the same.

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