Tuesday, July 1, 2014

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros - Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands; Chris Bohjalian


Every Tuesday I host First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, where I share the first paragraph or (a few) of a book I am reading or thinking about reading soon. Care to join us? This week's pick is by a favorite author - started it at lunch yesterday and loving it so far.

Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands; Chris Bohjalian
Doubleday - July 2014

 Prologue~

"I built an igloo against the cold out of black plastic trash bags filled with wet leaves.  It wasn't perfect.  The winds were coming across the lake, and the outside wall that faced the water was flat--not like the igloos I had seen on TV somewhere or I guess in a book.  It looked like the wall on the inside of a cave: flat and ind of scaly.  But the outside wall that faced the city looked round like a melon.  I couldn't stand all the way up inside it, but in the middle I could crouch like a hunchback.  It was big enough for three people to lie down if you curled up, and one night we had to squeeze in four.  But most of the time it was just Cameron and me.  I really had to trust the fuck out of someone before I would let then anywhere near Cameron in the night. But, the truth is, people came and went.  You know how it is. Especially in the winter.  But the igloo kept me warm. Warmer, anyway.  I mean, it's not like I got frostbite.  I knew kids and grownups who did.  I knew one kid who got gangrene.  They say the doctors had to cut off both his feet, but I don't know that for a fact because I never saw him again."

Chapter 1 ~

"It was the middle of June, and we only had two days of school left.  We had one more day of exams and the one day when most of us would either not show up or, if we did, the teachers were pretty chill and didn't mind what we did so long as we didn't get stoned in their face or do something ridiculous that would them look bad or get ourselves killed.  I was in eleventh grade.  It was midmorning, and I had just taken my physics final.  I did okay, I think, but who knows? Doesn't matter now and, to be honest, I really didn't care that much even then.  Besides, I was going to be a poet and a novelist, if only because I figured poet and novelist was a career choice that meant little or no human interaction.  I kind of understood at a young age that I didn't play well with most other kids in the sandbox. (Not all, of course. I mean, I had friends. Not many, but a few.)  Anyway, I really believed I was going to write great books.  I honestly thought like that.  I was going to go to Amherst -- the town, not the college, because there was no way I was getting into the college--and find out who Emily Dickinson actually was.  You know, get the real dish.  Discover things about her that no one else knew.  Friends. Lovers. A secret society. Not kidding.  I thought like that. We had the same first name, and her poems were as short as mine. Hers, of course, were better.  But you see my point. There wasn't a lot of logic to the connection.  Still, she wasn't hugely social, and we had that in common, too."


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What do you think? Would you keep reading? 

Feel free to join us by linking your First Chapter post below 


27 comments:

  1. Great pick, Diane. This one is on my e-reader and I'm hoping to get to it very soon.

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  2. This one does sound good! Thanks for sharing....

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  3. The first few sentences took me right back to when I was a student, a few days before summer is out. I would read one.

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  4. Not sure about this rambly opening. Why does Chris Bojhalian always write as a female character? Here's Mine

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  5. Great intro! It's been too long since I've read Chris Bohjalian.

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  6. I just finished reading this one and thought it was great! I'm waiting it in my Waiting on Weds post tomorrow and my review will go up ned week. Bohjalian is one of my favorite authors!

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  7. I'm not familiar with this author, but the intro has me curious. I would keep reading.

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  8. This sounds good. I'd keep reading.

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  9. Aaah I really like this beginning! It sort of reminds me of the beginning of 'Catcher int he Rye' with that kind of off-the-cuff tone! I'd definitely keep reading! Thanks for hosting :) Hope you have a great week!
    Juli @ Universe in Words

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  10. that sounds like a book I would love to read. have a great day.

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  11. That intro was way to long, lots me half way through.

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  12. Chris Bohjalian can be wonderful but not when his narrator is a child or a teenager. So, no, I wouldn't bother reading the rest.

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  13. Lost my original comment, sigh... here I go again. I read and enjoyed this book. I love almost anything Mr. Bohjalian writes. I think that mysteries and thrillers are afforded the luxury of the intense hook right off the bat to pull you in; in literary and contemporary fiction the author is spinning a tale and needs time to get off the ground. I recommend this. Thanks, Diane, for a good choice.

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  14. I did keep reading....got this one from Netgalley and really enjoyed it. A little bit different than Bohjalian's other books.

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  15. I adore his writing style. Another one I need to read ;)

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  16. very natural - sounds authentic- and interesting =)
    I'd read more b/c I'd love to know what he finds out about emily !
    HapPy Canada Day from your neighbour to the North..

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  17. It's been a few years since I've read anything by Bohjalian, but this one sounds good!!

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  18. I would definitely keep reading.

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  19. OOH this one is on my wish list and it looks like I need to bump it up! I loved Bohjalian's The Night Strangers (one of my favs last year) and I know this isn't in the same vein but I loved his writing and I'm excited to get my hands on more of his books!

    April @ My Shelf Confessions

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  20. This sounds like a book I'd like, based just on that opening paragraph. Good voice.

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  21. Whoa, there's a lot going on in that intro! I'd probably read on...

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  22. Yes! I feel a guaranteed good read when the author is CB!

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  23. It's been fun catching up on what you've been reading Dianne :)

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  24. The narrator is a little bit too rambly (is that a word? :)) so perhaps not for me.
    Thank you for stopping by, Diane.

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  25. This does sound really, really good. I've been interested in this writer's work for a while now. I think I first heard of him on your blog, Diane.

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