March 09, 2010


London, the crouching monster, like every other monster has to breathe, and breathe it does in its own obscure, malignant way. Its vital oxygen is composed of suburban working men and women of all kinds, who every morning are sucked up through an infinitely complicated respiratory apparatus of trains and termini into the mighty congested lungs, held there for a number of hours, and then, in the evening, exhaled violently through the same channels.

The men and women imagine they are going into London and coming out again more or less of their own free will, but the crouching monster sees all and knows better.

-- Patrick Hamilton, The Slaves of Solitude.

I don't know if that's the absolute best opening for a novel that I've ever read, but it sure is up there.

Posted by Dr. Frank at March 9, 2010 09:30 PM | TrackBack

Don't tell me, your secret lies in London.....

Posted by: Zaphod at March 9, 2010 10:10 PM
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