Saturday, January 30, 2010

RIP, J. D. Salinger

In remembrance of the passing of J. D. Salinger, I thought I'd post the first lines of his four books. I always thought he was a master of the opening sentence.

If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.
-- The Catcher in the Rye (1951)

There were ninety-seven New York advertising men in the hotel, and, the way they were monopolizing the long-distance lines, the girl in 507 had to wait from noon till almost two-thirty to get her call through.
-- Nine Stories (1953), this is the first line from "A Perfect Day for Bananafish"

Though brilliantly sunny, Saturday morning was overcoat weather again, not just topcoat weather, as it had been all week and as everyone had hoped it would stay for the big weekend--the weekend of the Yale game.
-- Franny and Zooey (1961)

One night some twenty years ago, during a siege of mumps in our enormous family, my youngest sister, Franny, was moved, crib and all, into the ostensibly germ-free room I shared with my eldest brother, Seymour.
-- Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour, an Introduction (1963)

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