Wednesday, April 25, 2007

No Disrespect

Today, a patron returned the book NO DISRESPECT by Sister Souljah (Times Books, c1994, ISBN 0-8129-2483-5) and although it's not a book that I've read, I do like its first sentence:

In the projects, somebody can call your mother a one-legged whore who does nasty tricks for men for five dollars and she will still be the most important and influential person in your childhood.

I have her book, THE COLDEST WINTER EVER on my TBR shelf at home...


Sandra Ruttan said...

I like that first line too.

Since this is the first time I've been to your blog I wonder if you've ever done a post analyzing what makes a great first line, citing different examples. I touched on some first lines today on my blog, but that wasn't really the focus. I think it would be interesting to get your perspective on what sets the greats apart from the mediocre.

Shannon said...

You know Sandra,

I've never done this and the reason being that it becomes subjective. I think what makes for a great first sentence for me would probably be worlds apart from what makes for a great first sentence for you. Also, I've seen disagreements happen on the Dorothy-L listserv about this very thing.
Joe likes the real gotcha first sentence while Jane thinks a sentence like that is too contrived and just to get you to buy the book and then the author doesn't follow through with the rest of the book.

For me, it's about different things. I like the odd first sentence. I like the real character driven first sentence. And I LOVE the wacky, zany, grab me by the throat first sentence that other people feel are just a ploy. If it is so outrageous that I HAVE to know what is going to happen somewhere down the road...I'm reading the book.