15 December 2011 0 Comments

The Best First Paragraphs in Crime Fiction: Part 1

If you have a lot of time to waste, you never judge a book by its cover. But don’t try telling me you don’t judge it by its first paragraph. What makes a great first paragraph? And which are the greatest? We all have favorites, some of which have become clichéd –– as happens to […]

28 February 2010 0 Comments

How does that grab you? Great openings to new books

The first line of a great novel tends also to have a lot of punch — to “grab” you. My favorite is “The Sun Also Rises,” which manages to tell you a great deal about one of the main characters, but even more about the narrator: “Robert Cohn was once middleweight boxing champion of Princeton. […]