Tuesday, April 2, 2013

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph #7 and Tuesday Teaser



First Chapter ~ First Paragraph Tuesday Intros is a weekly meme hosted by Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea.  The idea is to share the first paragraph or two of a book I am currently reading or planning to read sometime soon.

This week I'm featuring the opening paragraphs of Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter, a novel I'm reading for an upcoming book club meeting that I recently borrowed from my public library.

 Beautiful Ruins
Published by HarperCollins, 2012

1
The Dying Actress
April 1962
Porto Vergogna, Italy

"The dying actress arrived in his village the only way one could come directly--in a boat that motored into the cove, lurched past the rock jetty, and bumped against the end of the pier.  She wavered a moment in the boat's stern, then extended a slender hand to grip the mahogany railing; with the other, she pressed a wide-brimmed hat against her head.  All around her, shards of sunlight broke on the flickering waves.

Twenty meters away, Pasquale Tursi watched the arrival of the woman as if in a dream.  Or rather, he would think later, a dream's opposite: a burst of clarity after a lifetime of sleep.  Pasquale straightened and stopped what he was doing, what he was usually doing that spring, trying to construct a beach below his family's empty pensione.  Chest-deep in the cold Ligurian Sea, Pasquale was tossing rocks the size of cats in an attempt to fortify the breakwater, to keep the waves from hauling away his little mound of construction sand.  Pasquale's 'beach' was only as wide as two fishing boats, and the ground beneath his dusting of sand was scalloped rock, but it was the closest thing to a flat piece of shoreline in the entire village: a rumor of a town that had ironically--or perhaps hopefully--been designated Porto despite the fact that the only boats to come in and out regularly belonged to the village's handful of sardine and anchovy fishermen.  The rest of the name, Vergogna, meant shame, and was a remnant from the founding of the village in the seventeenth century as a place for sailors and fishers to find women of . . . a certain moral and commercial flexibility."

What do you think?  Would you keep reading? This book has received lots of accolades since its publication.  I am enjoying it thus far, and think it is well-suited for a book club discussion.
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Teaser Tuesdays, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading, is a weekly event where bloggers open to a random page of their current reads and share a teaser from somewhere on that page--no spoilers allowed.
 
Here's my teaser from Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter:
"In that doomed final month of the marriage--in what felt like a live autopsy of his manhood--Saundra tried to make him feel 'better' by insisting it wasn't entirely his fault; he was part of a ruined generation of young men coddled by their parents--by their mothers especially--raised on unearned self-esteem, in a bubble of overaffection, in a sad incubator of phony achievement."  
--p. 156, Large Print Edition

Enjoy life with books . . .
Catherine

Follow me on Twitter: @bookclubreader

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph #7 and Tuesday Teaser was originally published by Catherine for bookclublibrarian.com. This post cannot be republished without express written consent.

 

17 comments:

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

I do like the intro a lot. I listened to the audio version some time back.

Thank you so much for joining us this week.

Book Dilettante said...

I'd read this from the opening paragraphs and I will read it for sure for a book tour on April 9. Hope you will visit then to see my review :)

Paulita said...

I'm having a hard time getting through this intro, so I probably wouldn't read this one. Here's Mine

kelley jensen said...

I love it, such beautiful prose. kelley—the road goes ever ever on

Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow said...

Not sure from this opener...it didn't grab me. But thanks for sharing, and for visiting my blog.

JoAnn said...

I'd keep reading... have heard good things about the audio version, too.

Morgan Katz said...

I'd love to keep reading! Thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm a new follower! :)

Sim Carter said...

Well I'm curious to see how this actress impacts the village - the cover looks like a 50's romance set in Italy. Irresistable.

Spangle said...

I would definitely keep reading this!

Nise' said...

A local tv talk show featured this book and I am interested in reading it now!

Catherine Healey said...

I'm very interested in your thoughts on this book. Will look for your review.

Catherine Healey said...

Thanks for the follow...I've been following you for over a month...ever since you posted on Book Blogs.

Catherine Healey said...

There's not only an Italian connection...there's a present-day Hollywood/LA connection, which makes it all the more interesting.

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Catherine Healey said...

I have too. I can see where the audio would be entertaining, given the Italian characters trying to communicate in English with some of the other characters.

Catherine Healey said...

Hope you do get the chance to read Beautiful Ruins. I am enjoying it so far.

Catherine Healey said...

Thanks for stopping by!

Divergent Gryffindor said...

Eh, not really my type, but thanks for sharing :)
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