Best 1st chapter I've ever read!
In my house, I have books overflowing onto various desks, cubbies, drawers, bookshelves and closets. I just ran across one that I didn't recognize. I must have bought it in a patio sale here in Panama from a family moving away.
It's entitled The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, and I have no real idea how it will turn out or what the novel is really all about. However, it has the best 1st chapter I've ever read. If I had been an editor, I would have published this book hands-down.
Hopefully I'm not violating any copyright laws by sharing with you the first paragraph and a few juicy tidbits. I have a feeling it will make many of you go out running to your local bookstore to find this author's book.
"A writer never forgets the first time he accepted a few coins or a word of praise in exchange for a story. He will never forget the sweet poison of vanity in his blood and the belief that, if he succeeds in not letting anyone discover his lack of talent, the dream of literature will provide him with a roof over his head, a hot meal at the end of the day, and what he covets the most: his name printed on a miserable piece of paper that surely will outlive him. A writer is condemned to remember that moment, because from then on he is doomed and his soul has a price."
The narrator goes on to describe his first editor who gave him his first break as having a "bushy moustache" and having "subscribed to the theory that the liberal use of adverbs and adjectives was the mark of a pervert or someone with a vitamin deficiency."
His advice to the narrator? "You have more zeal than good taste, Martin. The disease afflicting you has a name, and that is Grand Guignol: it does to drama what syphilis does to your privates. Getting it might be pleasurable, but from then on it's all downhill."
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