Quote: Harlan Ellison

I have a feverish fascination with a book’s opening lines. I think the best pieces of writing in print (and certainly online) win the attention and trust of their reader with just a few opening lines, and those lines…the ones I love anyway, set a mood, scene, attitude, and conversational tone with such brilliant concreteness that you immediately feel as if the author is in the room speaking to you.

“It’s not often people will tell you how they really feel about gut-level things. Like God or how they’re afraid they’ll go insane like their grandfather or sex or how obnoxious you are when you pick your nose and wipe it on your pants.”

– opening line of Harlan Ellison’s Introduction: Brinksmanship, in Over The Edge.

I have a feverish fascination with a book’s opening lines. I think the best pieces of writing in print (and certainly online) win the attention and trust of their reader with just a few opening lines, and those lines…the ones I love anyway, set a mood, scene, attitude, and conversational tone with such brilliant concreteness that you immediately feel as if the author is in the room speaking to you.

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