Sunday, February 10, 2013

Western First Lines

Today we will look at the second of two parts on famous, western novel, first lines. Some opening lines are great, some are all right and some are downright dreadful. See if you can guess who penned these first lines. Answers on the bottom of the page—no peaking.

“When the earth was already ancient, of an age incomprehensible to man, an event of basic importance occurred in the area which would later be known as Colorado.” 

“In later years people often asked Hugh Hitchcock about the Canadian River cowboy strike of 1883.”

“He was on the east side of the Absaraka Range, in the timber, heading down toward the Popo Agie. He was in no hurry, and there was no reason for him to go there.

“A boy and a horse. A thin knobby boy, coming sixteen, all long bone and stringy muscle, not yet grown up to knuckly hands and seeming oversized feet.”

“He rolled the cigarette in his lips, liking the taste of the tobacco, squinting his eyes against the sun glare.”

 -See answers below-

Centennial – James Michner

The Day the Cowboys Quit – Elmer Kelton

The First Mountain Man – William W. Johnstone

Monte Walsh – Jack Schaefer

Hondo – Louis L’Amour

 Not really much of a western but you still cannot beat – “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.”  Charles Dickens

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