Monday, August 23, 2010

Erica’s Five Last Lines That Seal the Deal

Oh, you know you’ve done it. You open a book and flip right to the end. You read the last line first, you impatient, spoiler-loving son of a gun! I do it because I like an author who knows how to close. If you can nail the end, then at least I know you’re good for a beginning and a middle.

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
(Harper Perennial, $14.99)
“Slowly, very slowly, like two unhurried compass needles, the feet turned towards the right; north, north-east, east, south-east, south, south-south-west; then paused, and, after a few seconds, turned as unhurriedly back towards the left. South-south west, south, south-east, east…”

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
(W. W. Norton, $13.95)
“And so farewell from your little droog. And to all others in this story profound shooms of lipmusic brrrrrr. And they can kiss my sharries. But you, O my brothers, remember sometimes thy little Alex that was. Amen. And all that cal.”

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
(Riverhead Books, $15.00)
“He wrote that he couldn’t believe he had to wait for this so goddamn long. (Yabón was the one who suggested calling the wait something else. Yeah, like what? Maybe, she said, you could call it life.) He wrote: So this is what everybody’s always talking about. Diablo! If only I’d known. The beauty! The beauty!”

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
(Little Brown & Company, $6.99)
“If you want to know the truth, I don’t know what I think about it. I’m sorry I told so many people about it. About all I know is, I sort of miss everybody I told about. Even old Stradlater and Ackley for instance. I think I even miss that goddam Maurice. It’s funny. Don’t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.”

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
(Harper Perennial, $14.99)
“Here was peace. She pulled in her horizon like a great fish-net. Pulled it from around the waist of the world and draped it over her shoulder. So much of life in its meshes. She called in her soul to come and see.”

August 2010, Erica David

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