Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tuesday Intros

Since I love opening lines, I couldn't resist Diane @ Bibliophile by the Sea's First Paragraph meme.

Here's mine:

Paris to The Moon by Adam Gopnik

Not long after we moved to Paris, in the fall of 1995, my wife, Martha, and I saw, in the window of a shop on the rue Saint-Sulpice, a nineteenth-century engraving, done in the manner, though I'm now inclined to think not from the hand, of Daumier. It shows a train on its way from the Right Bank of Paris to the moon. The train has a steam locomotive and six cars, and it is chugging up a pretty steep track. The track is supported on two high, slender spires that seem to be anchored somewhere in the Fifth Arrondissment (you can see the Pantheon in silhouette nearby), and then the track just foes right up and touches the full moon up in the clouds. I suppose the two pillars are stronger that they look. The train is departing at twilight - presumably it's an overnight trip - and among the crowd on the ground below, only a couple of top-hatted bourgeois watch the lunar express go on its way with any interest, much less wonder. Everybody else in the crowd of thirteen or so people on the platform, mostly moms and dads and kids, are running and making conversation and comforting children and buying tickets for the next trip and doing all the things people still do on station platforms in Paris. The device on the ticket window reads: "A Railroad: From Paris to the Moon."

I'm still only a few pages in but I'm loving his style, and all the information about Paris! Although, being already 15 years since this was published, it's feeling a little dated. And, get this: I tried googling the image he's describing in this passage because there is a lovely sketch of it in the book, and with the words 'Paris' and 'Moon' guess whose derriere showed up? *gah* not exactly what I had in mind.


Alexis @ Reflections of a Bookaholic said...

Lol. That's what you get for googling things that are actually important :)

I like the style as well. Thanks for sharing.

Nomad said...

I just finished this, it took me over 6 months, not because I did not like it but because like with no other book I have read..... I really wanted to savour it. I found more truths in here than I can even describe. Sorry I did not get back to you, yes we are still on and very much looking forward to seeing you! I have my year end show on the 21st of May, so plan an art show in there! XX Nomad

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

I've read this book twice. Fabulous. I read it once before I went to Paris and once after I went there.

Trish said...

alexis - I know! It made me laugh too. *sigh* I feel so old and out of touch lol.

nomad - no problem; I know you're busy. I can't wait to see your art!

deb - heh, that's just what I've got planned :) sounds like it's the book to read.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

I am so happy you have joined in on the meme. This 1st paragraph leaves me a bit speechless. It is so very detailed that at first I thought TMI, but when I read it again, I thought no, this is how one should write to get the reader to experience what they are trying to say.

Excellent. I MUST read this one,

Tracy said...

As opening paragraphs go, it certainly makes you want to find out more.

Trish said...

diane - I almost didn't post it because it is so very detailed, that's why I was also hoping to find a copy of the etching it's describing. But alas, those words only got me pictures of a certain heiress's buttocks *eye roll*

tracy - it does, doesn't it? He packs a lot into a sentence but he's pleasant to read, I think.