Friday, February 03, 2006

Another great opening line

I just remembered a good opening line from one of my early (meaning unpublished) novels:

Things have a tendency to go awry. I remember Tanner's horrified expression, when I finally told him everything, maybe I'd kept him isolated for too long and teased him with utterly meaningless bits of information and not told him everything I knew about the case which wasn't actually little, on the contrary, since I had followed a thread in this business from the beginning or actually not from the real beginning, but I had seen what had happened to Major Thompson.*

[That's actually two lines. Sorry...]

This comes from a long novel I was supposed to write in the nineties. I called it my bestseller novel. There are some 60 or 70 pages of this, but the thing took some wrong roads and I've much or less abandoned it. The plot revolves around August Nordenskiöld, Finnish 18th century mysticist and magician who worked in the court of the King of Sweden. He had something everyone in Finland in the 1990's wants. It was supposed to very gripping, but also fragmentary - I aimed to tell the story from three points of view which never really match. Ah well, we'll see.

* In Finnish:

Asioilla on taipumus mennä pieleen. Muistan Tannerin kauhistuneen ilmeen, kun lopulta kerroin hänelle kaiken, ehkä olin pitänyt häntä liian kauan eristyksissä ja kiusannut häntä kaikenlaisilla mitättömillä tiedonpalasilla enkä paljastanut hänelle kaikkea, mitä tiesin enkä minä ihan vähän tiennytkään, päinvastoin, olinhan minä seurannut koko jutun erästä lankaa alusta alkaen tai en aivan alusta, mutta olin nähnyt, mitä majuri Thompsonille oli tapahtunut.

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