12.20.2006

HH Com 225 (221)

Tim is in what is best termed a Bad Mood. It isn't just because he can't avoid the fact that he's going to be thirty soon. And it isn't just because he's spent an entire morning's rehearsal giving it his all (alright, so he'd been a bit late - it happens) without gaining so much as a nod of approval from any of the bastards. It isn't even because he's still nowhere near being who, where and what he wants to be. No, it's more that he's ended up at a poxy, third-rate so-called theatre in this poxy, up-itself town where anyone who isn't a Fucking Tourist is a Fucking Student, and he's been bereft of nicotine the entire fucking morning. The supermarket down the road had looked likely until he'd seen that he'd have to endure a five-month wait in a queue composed entirely, as far as Tim could see, of Fucking Tourists, Fucking Students and Bloody, Fucking Locals. All he wants, all Tim really, really, really wants right now is a cigarette. And it's looking as likely as existential fulfilment.

He's not walking with any purpose anymore, just carrying on for the sake of it. It's not a bad plan, though, because suddenly there it is. Mecca, shining in the midday sunlight like the Holy Grail, and he doesn't give a fuck whether that's a sacrilegious mixed metaphor. Because there's a newsagent's, just across the road, and no bloody queue snaking down the block either. Thank fuck.


well ok then.
Have a fag on me.

this isn't a hook, this is a first page.
It's also ripe with malevolent energy that makes Miss Snark very very happy.

Trouble is, you'll need a hook in your query letter.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Fuck, fucking fuck fucked fuck.

Anonymous said...

Okay, not necessarily a book I'd want to read, but back when I was smking, or, better yet, when I was quitting smoking, yeah, yeah, that's exactly how it was. But there would have to be a plot in there somewhere.

michaelgav said...

Not a hook, I guess, but I sure as hell would turn the page.

Anonymous said...

I'm not convinced that it is a first page. The present tense throws me.

The funny thing, is if this is intended as a hook and not a first page, then the entire book is about finding cigarettes. I can honestly say I've never seen that done before.

RT

Anonymous said...

I like it!

skybluepinkrose said...

"Ripe with malevolent energy" is pretty diplomatic. Or euphemistic. Or something.

Is there a large enough market out there for a protag who's this angry? I'd hate to think so. Who's your readership?

Anonymous said...

This has voice a-go-go. I like it - and not just because I'm betting that the author is a) from my same city and b) in my same profession. (I'm fairly sure I've played that fucking theatre.)

Small community...we probably know each other.

Dave said...

Martin Amis once had a character who was so addicted to cigarettes that he couldn't bear to be without one. And even when he chain smoked, he longed for a cigarette because he knew that there was a short time when he didn't have one lit and in his mouth.

I like this writing, whatever it is. The character is disturbed, troubled and angry, deliciously so to the point of (what is he capable of?)...

Anonymous said...

Having read the previous 200-odd posts, I get that first page does not equal hook. Nevertheless, I find it heartening to read these comments, and I'm glad I threw the first 250 words into the snarkometer.

Thank you Miss Snark, and the other commenters!

-Nancy

Anonymous said...

I would read this book.

Don't know if you can get it published, but I, personally, would enjoy it.

I'll even go out on a limb to say I wish more books were like this first page: to the point, with a character that feels real (as if I'm reading about someone I might know), likeable, and with a unique voice.

And no, I'm not the author's mother.

HawkOwl said...

Oh, I like! It's not hook form, but I'd want more of this.

The Gambino Crime Family said...

It's funny. I've lived in England for a while. He didn't seem angry (by our standards). Just a little grumpy.

December Quinn said...

I liked this too, but can I say as a smoker...if that store was the only one selling cigarettes, you'd wait in line. You'd wait hours if you had to (and didn't have a car to go elsewhere.)

Anonymous said...

I liked this.

Anonymous said...

Fuck-a-doodle-doo!

Present tense, internal monologue, and walking through hostile streets -- this might well be the Live-at-Leeds version of Ulysses.

Drop one of those formula bound three-letter-agency cordite-n-grr thrillers and ask this woman for pages!

-kd

Hypergraphia said...

I agree, there are a lot of "fucks" bouncing through someone's head when they need a cigarette. Even moreso when you are quitting smoking. Since I quit over 16 years ago, reading about somebody desperately craving a cigarette, well...makes me crave a cigarette. If you can pull that off, you are 'hooking' me. Just glad I'm not hooked on those nicotine sticks anymore. Thank Fuck ( and thanks for that line - I'll probably be saying it all the time now...).