The End We Start From

TEWSF

Megan Hunter

First Sentence:     I am hours from giving birth, from the event I thought would never happen to me, and R has gone ups mountain.

Back of the book:

In the midst of a mysterious environmental crisis, as London is submerged below flood waters, a woman gives birth to her first child, Z. Days later, the family are forced to leave their home in search of safety. As they move from place to place, shelter to shelter, their journey traces both fear and wonder as Z’s small fists grasp at the things he sees, as he grows and stretches, thriving and content against all the odds.

This is a story of new motherhood in a terrifying setting: a familiar world made dangerous and unstable, its people forced to become refugees. Startlingly beautiful, Megan Hunter’s The End We Start From is a gripping novel that paints an imagined future as realistic as it is frightening. And yet, though the country is falling apart around them, this family’s world – of new life and new hope – sings with love.

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The Forensic Records Society

TFRS

Magnus Mills

First Sentence:     “I saw you!”

Back of the book:

Two men with a passion for vinyl create a society for the appreciation of records. Their aim is simple: to elevate the art of listening by doing so in forensic detail. The society enjoys moderate success in the back room of their local pub, The Half Moon, with other enthusiasts drawn to the initial promise of the weekly gathering.

However, as the club gains popularity, its founder’s uncompromising dogma results in a schism within the movement and soon a counter group forms. Then the arrival of a young woman called Alice further fractures the unity of the vulnerable society. As rifts are forged and gulfs widen, Magnus Mills examines the surreal nature of ordinary lives.

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Lord Of The Flies

lord-of-the-flies

William Golding

FROM THE ARCHIVES

First Sentence:     The boy with fair hair lowered himself down the last few feet of rock and began to pick his way towards the lagoon.

Back of the book:

A plane crashes on an uninhabited island and the only survivors, a group of schoolboys, assemble on the beach and wait to be rescued. By day they inhabit a land of bright fantastic birds and dark blue seas, but at night their dreams are haunted by the image of a terrifying beast.

In this, his first novel, William Golding gave the traditional adventure story an ironic, devastating twist. The boys’ delicate sense of order fades, and their childish fears are transformed into something deeper and more primitive. Their games take on a horrible significance, and before long the well-behaved party of schoolboys has turned into a tribe of faceless, murderous savages.

Quotes from the book:

He found himself understanding the wearisomeness of this life, where every path was an improvisation and a considerable part of one’s waking life was spent watching one’s feet.

“Sucks to your ass-mar!”

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Nutshell

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Ian McEwan

First Sentence:     So here I am, upside down in a woman.

Back of the book: 

Trudy has betrayed her husband, John. She’s still in the marital home – a dilapidated, priceless London townhouse – but not with John. Instead, she’s with his brother, the profoundly banal Claude, and the two of them have a plan. But there is a witness to their plot: the inquisitive, nine-month-old resident of Trudy’s womb.

Told from a perspective unlike any other, Nutshell is a classic tale of murder and deceit from one of the world’s master storytellers.

Quotes from the book:

“But here’s life’s most limiting truth—it’s always now, always here, never then and there.”

It’s already clear to me how much of life is forgotten even as it happens. Most of it. The unregarded present spooling away from us, the soft tumble of unremarkable thoughts, the long-neglected miracle of existence. When she’s no longer twenty-eight and pregnant and beautiful, or even free, she won’t remember the way she set down the spoon and the sound it made on slate, the frock she wore today, the touch of her sandal’s thong between her toes, the summer’s warmth, the white noise of the city beyond the house walls, a short burst of birdsong by a closed window. All gone, already.

Thoughts:

A wonderful novel, thoroughly enjoyable.

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The Return Of The King

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J.R.R. Tolkien

FROM THE ARCHIVES

First Sentence:     Pippin looked out from the shelter of Gandalf’s cloak.

Back of the book:

The Companions of the Ring have become involved in separate adventures as the quest continues. Aragorn, revealed as the hidden heir of the ancient Kings of the West, joined with the Riders of Rohan against the forces of Isengard, and took part in the desperate victory of the Hornburg. Merry and Pippin, captured by Orcs, escaped into Fangorn Forest and there encountered the Ents. Gandalf returned, miraculously, and defeated the evil wizard, Saruman. Meanwhile, Sam and Frodo progressed towards Mordor to destroy the Ring, accompanied by Sméagol – Gollum, still obsessed by his ‘preciouss’. After a battle with the giant spider, Shelob, Sam left his master for dead; but Frodo is still alive – in the hands of the Orcs. And all the time the armies of the Dark Lord are massing.

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