Tuesday, November 5, 2013

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph #38

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph Tuesday Intros is a weekly meme hosted by Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea. It's an opportunity to share the first paragraph(s) of a book I am currently reading or planning to read sometime soon.

This week I'm featuring the opening paragraphs from La's Orchestra Saves the World by Alexander McCall Smith, which a friend gave me.

 La's Orchestra Saves the World   

Part One


Two men, who were brothers, went to Suffolk.  One drove the car, an old Bristol drophead coupe in British racing green, while the other navigated, using an out-of-date linen-backed map.  That the map was an old one did not matter too much: the roads they were following had been there for a long time and were clearly marked on their map -- narrow lanes flanked by hedgerows following no logic other than ancient farm boundaries.  The road signs -- promising short distances of four miles, two miles, even half a mile -- were made of heavy cast-iron, forged to last for generations of travellers.  Some conscientious hand had kept them freshly painted, their black lettering sharp and clear against chalk-white backgrounds, pointing to villages with names that meant something a long time ago but which were now detached from the things to which they referred -- the names of long-forgotten yeoman families, of mounds, of the crops they grew, of the wild flora of those parts.  Garlic, cress, nettles, crosswort -- all these featured in the place-names of the farms and villages that dotted the countryside -- their comfortable names reminders of a gentle country that once existed in these parts, England.  It still survived, of course, tenacious here and there, revealed in a glimpse of a languourous cricket match on a green, of a trout pool under willow branches, of a man in a flat cap digging up potatoes; a country that still existed but was being driven into redoubts such as this.  The heart might ache for that England, thought one of the brothers; might ache for what we have lost.

They almost missed the turning to the village, so quickly did it cone upon them.  There were oak trees at the edge of a field and immediately beyond these, meandering off to the left, was the road leading to the place they wanted.  The man with the map shouted out, "Whoa!  Slow down," and the driver reacted quickly, stamping on the brakes of the Bristol, bringing it to a halt with a faint smell of scorched rubber.  They looked at the sign, which was a low one, almost obscured by the topmost leaves of nettles and clumps of cow parsley.  It was the place.

What do you think?  Would you continue reading?  Although the first two paragraphs are very wordy, I've read and enjoyed other Alexander McCall Smith novels and consider him one of my favorite authors.

Enjoy life with books . . .
Google Friend Connect no longer exists.  If you are a new follower or previous GFC follower, please sign up to follow the Book Club Librarian Blog via Bloglovin'.  Let me know if you're a new follower and leave me a link to your blog so that I can follow you back.  Thanks!
Follow me on Twitter: @bookclubreader

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph #38 was originally published by Catherine for bookclublibrarian.com. This post cannot be republished without attribution.

No comments:

Post a Comment