Saturday, May 05, 2007


I'm a sucker for dialogue on the first page of a novel.

From Julian Maclaren-Ross's Bitten by the Tarantula:
When Armstrong suggested this trip I accepted at once. The idea of staying a month in the mountains appealed to me tremendously. No worries. Nothing complicated. The simple life. That suited me fine.
"Where shall we stay?" I asked him.
Armstrong said, "There's a choice of two hotels. The Royal is the best."
"You've been there before, then?"
"Last year. It was very restful."
"That's just what I need, a good rest."
"You never have anything else."
"Nonsense. My life is a turmoil. I often think of entering a monastery."
"Or a convent," Armstrong said. "Have you never thought about that?"
"A convent would be too complicated."
"Yvonne was brought up in a convent wasn't she?"
"I believe she was."
"How is that progressing?"
"She's away in Geneva."
Which was another reason for leaving.

From Christopher Isherwood's Prater Violet:

"Mr. Isherwood?"
"Mr. Christopher Isherwood?"
"That's me."
"You know, we've been trying to contact you ever since yesterday afternoon." The voice at the end of the wire was a bit reproachful.
"I was out."
"You were out?"
"Oh...I see..." (A pause, to consider this. Then, suddenly suspicious.) "That's funny, though...Your number was always engaged. All the time."
"Who are you?" I asked, my tone getting an edge on it.
"Imperial Bulldog."
"I beg your pardon?"
[It keeps going in this vein for a while, very funny...]

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