First Paragraph: The Sense of an Ending

Diane at Bibliophile By the Sea asks us to share the first paragraph of a book we are reading. As you can see it’s called First Chapter, First Paragraph Tuesday Intros. As readers we are often captivated or turned away by that first paragraph or two. Let’s see what you think about the first paragraph of my current read.

I’m reading The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes. It’s this year’s Man Booker Award.

I remember, in no particular order:

  • a shiny inner wrist;
  • steam rising from a wet sink as a hot frying pan is

laughingly tossed into it;

  • gouts of sperm circling a plughole, before being

sluiced down the full length of a tall house;

  • a river rushing nonsensically upstream, its wave and

wash lit by half a dozen chasing torchbeams;

  • another river, broad and grey, the direction of its flow

disguised by a stiff wind exciting the surface;

  • bathwater long gone cold behind a locked door.

This last isn’t something I actually saw but what you end up remembering isn’t always the same as what you have witnessed.

We live in time – it holds us and moulds us – but I’ve never felt I understood it very well. And I’m not referring to theories about how it bends and doubles back, or may exist elsewhere in parallel versions. No, I mean ordinary, everyday time, which clocks and watches assure us passes regularly: tick-tock, click-clock.

 What do you think? Would you keep reading?


About Margot

I'm also known as Joyfully Retired. I love to talk. I love to talk about books I've read, movies I've seen, places I've traveled to, people (especially my children and grandchildren), and Food. On the Quirky Girls Read blog I'm trying to read all the books that have won the major awards and then, of course, talk about them.
This entry was posted in Bookish Thoughts, Posts by Margot. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to First Paragraph: The Sense of an Ending

  1. Wow! That was quite the opener….yes, I would keep reading. Thanks for sharing.

    Here’s MY TT POST

  2. jehara says:

    I’m definitely intrigued.

  3. JoAnn says:

    I loved this book! Hope you’re enjoying it, too.

  4. Heather says:

    Yeah, I’d keep reading! Great writing just from this! Whoa!

  5. Gigi Ann says:

    I think I would keep reading, at least until I find out what is happening.

    Thanks for your visit today. This is my first visit to your blog. I too am a retiree and enjoying all my extra time reading. Have a great day.

  6. kaye says:

    that was a different beginning, but I sense an ending in the words 😀

  7. oh wow that was incredible! great tuesday intro!

  8. I remember that intro — odd but compelling. I loved that book Margo — enjoy.

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