Friday, May 3, 2013

Friday First Paragraphs # 3

Welcome to the third installment of my Friday First Paragraph's (original idea from Bibliophile by the sea).

I originally saw this on Mr B's website, then later saw a good review on Fennell Books, so when I was perusing the shelves in a highstreet bookstore on a recent trip to Basingstoke, I had a read of the first paragraph. I couldn't put it back on the shelf, I HAD to buy it. I hope it grabs you like it grabbed me.

Edit: Thanks Nellie for pointing out that I didn't include the title...  This first paragraph is from The Teleportation Accident by Ned Beauman.  Enjoy!

BERLIN, 1931

When you knock a bowl of sugar on to your host's carpet, it is a parody of the avalanche that killed his mother and father, just as the duck's beak that your new girlfriend's lips form when she attempts a seductive pout is a quotation of the quacking noise your last girlfriend made during sex. When the telephone rings in the night because a stranger has given a wrong extension to the operator, it is a homage to the inadvertent substitution of telegrams that terminated your adulterous cousin's marriage, just as the resonant alcove between the counterpoised struts of your new girlfriend's clavicle is a rebuttal to the apparent beauty of your last girlfriend's fleshier decolletage. Or this is how it seemed to Egon Loeser, anyway, because the two subjects most hostile to his sense of a man's life as an essentially steady, comprehensible and Newtonian-mechanical undertaking were accidents and women, And it sometimes seemed as if the only way to prevent that dread pair from toppling him all the way over into derangement was to treat them not as prodigies but rather as texts to be studied. Hence the principle: accidents, like women, allude. These allusions are no less witty or astute for being unconscious; indeed, they are more so, which is one reason why it's probably a mistake to construct them deliberately. The other reason is that everyone might conclude you're a total prick.


  1. Is this the Teleportation Accident? It is great, I hope you enjoy it, let me know what you think!

  2. I can't believe I didn't include the Title!! Yes it is The Teleportation Accident, going on the above I can't wait to start it.