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AIBU to not like books starting with a quote?

(17 Posts)
ZZZenAgain Thu 04-Aug-11 15:29:12

It is a stupid little thing but it is getting on my wick. Why does everyone need to start their book off with a quote? What's the point?

The book I just finished starts every chapter off with a quote as well. I find it so contrived

Why? Just why?

mayorquimby Thu 04-Aug-11 15:34:54

As in the first part of the actual story/narrative starts with a quote or when they have a couple of quotes as a type of prologue?

TiggyD Thu 04-Aug-11 15:35:26

"To infinity and beyond" is how far I'll go to avoid a book that does that.

ContraryMartha Thu 04-Aug-11 15:37:16


I think it's supposed to be a bit existential and a bit woo - setting the scene, lessons learned etc.
But yeah, it is a bit crap.

MrsvWoolf Thu 04-Aug-11 15:38:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ZZZenAgain Thu 04-Aug-11 15:44:40

yes prologue type thing - page before Chapter 1 begins or in the case of this book I just read, quote before each chapter begins.

It makes me writhe. Like ah, just get on and write the story, will you. I believe you you've read other books before.

mayorquimby Thu 04-Aug-11 15:54:28

No I'm not with you at all then. Some of them are brilliant. Plus just finished re-reading American Psycho and I'm pretty sure it's done in that.

ZZZenAgain Thu 04-Aug-11 16:17:22

fair enough

plupervert Thu 04-Aug-11 18:25:42

It's a contrivance, though; you are quite right. And it is often misused! YANBU!

BertieBotts Thu 04-Aug-11 18:28:25

Is it Philip Pullman? I'm just reading one of his where he does that. I tend to skip over them so they are wasted on me, a bit.

ZZZenAgain Thu 04-Aug-11 18:29:26

No, iti s Bookey Peek

plupervert Thu 04-Aug-11 18:30:42

Bookey Peek?


plupervert Thu 04-Aug-11 18:31:28

Not even My Booky Wook?

(though can't imagine what Russell Brand might have quoted)

ZZZenAgain Thu 04-Aug-11 18:31:36

my farm in Africa type of thing and how I interact with wild animals. I am not saying it is not interesting but the quotes jar on me.

RevoltingPeasant Thu 04-Aug-11 20:16:23

Oh, really? I love that. It is par for the course with many pre-C20 works. Not only Gaskell but lots of ther C19th novelists do it. The gothic novelist Ann Radcliffe used to jam quotes in to show off her erudition and make people take her seriously as a woman writer (this was in the 1790s).

Epigraphs can be really witty, funny, ironic, or interesting. Totally geeky, but the three epigraphs which start off Maynard Mack's biography of Pope make me go all chilly (yes, I know them by heart):

'He was a poet and hated the approximate.' - Rilke

'Never say you know the last word about any human heart.'

'I! fuge! sed tutior domi.' - Martial

<slinks off to get a life, perhaps several, on reflection>

MrsvWoolf Thu 04-Aug-11 22:11:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

alowVeraWithPurpleTwuntyPants Thu 04-Aug-11 22:27:24

Ooh know another one that started each chapter with a quote, but can't for the life of me remember what it was. (not one of the above btw). Hmmm

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