frank w. dixon
V.21 No.16 | 4/19/2012
First line rundown pt. 5
Usually this blog column is used to highlight the first lines of a plethora of new works of fiction. But since I just read and reviewed Ted Heller’s Pocket Kings—a novel about a novelist full of quotes from said novelist's fake novels—I thought I'd just draw from there.
"It is a cold and harrowing morning in the life of a man the day he wakes up, looks at himself in the mirror, and finally realizes that he is not, never has been, nor will ever be George Clooney.”
—Opening line to Ted Heller's Pocket Kings
"In the small village in which my grandmother was born, the giant men flew down from the violet mountain mists after every monsoon season to take our women away."
—Heller's protagonist Frank W. Dixon positing the kind of opening line that usually gratifies NY Times book critics
"Things were very bad then but still we carried on."
—The opening line to one of Dixon's books; an opening line that Dixon is incredibly proud of
“An hour late to work I’m riding the D train to work in a short tight black BCBG mini skirt and not only do I feel Seth the Sommelier dribbling down my right thigh but I also see some of Antonio the Busboy sticking to my left calf.”
—The lead sentence from Saucier: A Bitch in the Kitchen, a novel Dixon reads and criticizes within Pocket Kings
Ted Heller’s poker “memoir” calls the literary world’s bluff
Written in the style of a memoir, Ted Heller’s Pocket Kings succeeds in creating one of the most wholly dislikable and irritating protagonists in recent fiction. It also paints a dark picture of gambling addiction and provides some hilarious criticism on the modern novel-writing landscape.
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