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katrina

The Crimson Petal and the White - The Opening Chapter

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katrina 19th December 2006 04:46 PM

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The opening chapter

I just thought I would post a thread for people to comment on their thoughts on the opening chapter on TCP&TW. Despite having read this book before, and fairly recently I was still blown away when I read this chapter the last.
Here's just a brief example of what I am talking about:

Watch your step. Keep your wits about you; you will need them. This city I am bringing you to is vast and intricate, and you have not been here before. You may imagine, from other srories you've read, that you know it well, but those stories flattered you, welcoming you as a friend, treating you as if you belonged. The truth is that you are an alien from another time and place altogether.
When I first caught your eye and you decided to come with me, you were probably thinking you would simply arrive and make yourself at home. Now that you're actually here, the air is bitterly cold, and you find yourself being led along in complete darkness, stumbling on uneven ground, recognising notheing. Looking left and right, blinking against an icy wind, you realise you have entered an unknown street of unlit houses full of unknown people.
And yet you did not choose me blindly. Certain expectations were aroused. Lets not be coy: you were hoping I would satisfy all the desires you're too shy to name, or at least show you a good time. Now you hesitate, still holding onto me, but tempted to let me go. When you first picked me up, you didn't fully appreciate the size of me, nor did you expect I would grip you so tightly, so fast. Sleet stings your cheeks, sharp little spits of it so cold they feel hot, like fiery cinders in the wind. Your ears brgin to hurt. But you've allowed yourself to be led astray, and it's too late to turn back now.

I love the fact that the reader is address directly and the fact that you have choosen to go on this journey into an unknown world is highlighted, that of course is true of all novels but this unique way of starting certainly had me gripped immediately. What did everyone else think?

Lady Lazarus 20th December 2006 12:51 PM

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Quote:
Originally Posted by katrina
I love the fact that the reader is address directly and the fact that you have choosen to go on this journey into an unknown world is highlighted, that of course is true of all novels but this unique way of starting certainly had me gripped immediately. What did everyone else think?



I agree, it had me hooked from the start! Most unusual.. I can't think of anything I've read before that's addressed the reader in the same way. It's very effective, as I can't put the damn thing down! :D

I must say that the reader being addressed as 'you' has died off now (I'm 200 pages from the end) but I feel a bit sad about that.. I kind of wanted it to continue (although that would've been totally impractical in the story!). It makes me wonder where I, the reader is supposed to be in regards to the characters, whereas in the beginning I had no doubt I was following them. Perhaps a trick would've been to make the reader into a character in the story somehow? or am I just getting carried away?!

katrina 20th December 2006 04:58 PM

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady Lazarus
I agree, it had me hooked from the start! Most unusual.. I can't think of anything I've read before that's addressed the reader in the same way. It's very effective, as I can't put the damn thing down! :D

I must say that the reader being addressed as 'you' has died off now (I'm 200 pages from the end) but I feel a bit sad about that.. I kind of wanted it to continue (although that would've been totally impractical in the story!). It makes me wonder where I, the reader is supposed to be in regards to the characters, whereas in the beginning I had no doubt I was following them. Perhaps a trick would've been to make the reader into a character in the story somehow? or am I just getting carried away?!



From having read the book before I think the assumption is that the reader is still following the characers around, I have a feeling, just a feeling, that in the final chapters the reader is addressed again.

Lady Lazarus 20th December 2006 06:47 PM

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Quote:
Originally Posted by katrina
From having read the book before I think the assumption is that the reader is still following the characers around, I have a feeling, just a feeling, that in the final chapters the reader is addressed again.



Aah I knew I wouldn't be disappointed! Not long to go for me, am aiming to finish it tonight (if I can get off the computer)....

Barblue 23rd December 2006 05:00 PM

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I too loved the way into this book. Being addressed so directly, not about what was happening as part of the story necessarily, but about me as a reader picking up the book in the first place. In fact it was a bit of a shock and I had to reassess my attitude as a reader over those first few paragraphs. But what an introduction, and who could possible resist reading on. Not me.

I am only half way through, mainly because I am so busy getting Christmas ready, but when I am doing all those chores the book is running on inside my head because I can't wait to get back to it.


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