Monday, May 26, 2008

first chapter, first impression

This is an idea that is designed to share that first impression of what it feels like to open a new book – that coffee jar lid splitting moment. Opening a book and reading the first words is one of the most enjoyable things in life and makes reading the special activity it is. All of your attention is on those first few pages. What is this about, where is this going and who is showing me this world? All those questions get tackled to some extent in the first chapter.

Tree of Smoke - Denis Johnson

1963
Kennedy has just been shot and you are introduced to two brothers, a colonel and a Vietnamese pilot milling around a US army base in the Phillipines. You are also introduced to the idea that Vietnam is already a country at war not just against the Viet Cong but also against itself with whores and US dollars already starting to corrupt the country.

But as the solider, William Houston and Lucky the Vietnamese pilot mooch around the Philippines military base the events elsewhere in South East Asia seem reasonably far away. The death of Kennedy threatens to change that.

More to come…

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