Anyway, I decided that since I'd already done one version of this following the rules, I should put something up here with the rules slightly changed. Here's the original rules:
1. Take five books off your bookshelf.
2. Book #1 -- first sentence
3. Book #2 -- last sentence on page fifty
4. Book #3 -- second sentence on page one hundred
5. Book #4 -- next to the last sentence on page one hundred fifty
6. Book #5 -- final sentence of the book
7. Make the five sentences into a paragraph....
I did two slightly different versions. First, here's a version where I picked out the right sentences, but, instead of random books, I chose from five books by Neal Stephenson, in order of publication:
William Anothy Cozzano’s office was a scandal. “Staring at us.” “People started doing this about the time you left for Cambridge.” Nevertheless, the very notion that such a rustic fellow would challenge Upnor to a duel practically had the French nobles falling down into the path with tears running down their cheeks. “I’m going home now,” he says.These come from:
The System of the World
My second paragraph all comes from one book; Jeff Shaara's The Glorious Cause.
He had sat out the raw misery of the storm through most of the night, keeping his boat tight against the shore. At least this day would have accomplished something. The lookouts slouched in their towers above him, and the only sounds were low voices, quiet conversations, and, back in the wooden huts, the work of the cooks, the rattle of tin plates already piling up for the evening meal. When they saw the officers, hats went up, the flag held out, and behind them, more men, a second flag, one man holding it aloft on the point of a bayonet. And it is Christmas Eve.O.K. Here's what I find interesting about this.
1. I actually like that the one paragraph cobbled together from Shaara's book tells the entire story of the American Revolution without any of the nasty battles and stuff. (Quick. Without looking it up, tell me what year the Revolution began and when it ended. Score extra points if you know how much longer it took to ratify the Constitution. Extra, extra points for Furiners getting it right.)
2. In spite of the fact that Stephenson is usually a fairly difficult (though completely worthwhile) read, Shaara manages to pack almost twice the word-count into his mashed-up paragraph. The fact is, Shaara never met a sentence he didn't think would benefit from a bunch more words. And his tactic seems to be that you can just keep adding commas as long as you like and you won't have to start a new sentence until someone jams a period in there. Let that be a lesson to you schoolkids trying to come up with 1200 words on the history of your hometown.
3. That's all I find particularly interesting here. Sue me.
Oh, BTW, there's still time to join The International Internet Bacon-Abatement Coalition. Bacon is embarrassed and it needs your help.