Every Friday Book Beginnings on Friday is hosted by Gillion at Rose City Reader where you can share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.
This week my book is Every Man for Himself by Beryl Bainbridge, a novel about the four days of Titanic’s doomed maiden voyage in 1912.
15th April 1912
He said, ‘Save yourself if you can,’ and I said firmly enough, though I was trembling and clutching at straws, ‘I intend to. Will you stand at my side?’ To which he replied, ‘Remember, Morgan, not the height, only the drop, is terrible.’ Then he walked away, gait unsteady, the cord of his robe trailing the deck.
Page 56 – 57:
Since I was nineteen my uncle had been trying to fix me up with employment. How often had I heard him thunder that it was the duty of the wealthy to work? A poor man without a job, he held, was less despicable than a rich man who became idle.
Morgan is the nephew of J.P. Morgan the American financier.
For the four fraught, mysterious days of her doomed maiden voyage in 1912, the Titanic sails towards New York, glittering with luxury, freighted with millionaires and hopefuls. In her labyrinthine passageways the last, secret hours of a small group of passengers are played out, their fate sealed in prose of startling, sublime beauty, as Beryl Bainbridge’s haunting masterpiece moves inexorably to its known and terrible end.