Every Tuesday, Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea hosts First Chapter-First Paragraph in which she, and those of us who join her, posts the opening paragraph (sometime two) of a book she is reading or planning to read.
On my TBR Pile Challenge list as an alternate selection is Gore Vidal's 1876: A Novel. This is the time of the robber barons, the gilded age, post Civil War and pre-WWI. Scandal and big business characterize the East, while the West is still wild and the frontier hasn't become a metaphor yet. I've had this book on my shelf for years--ever since I read Vidal's Lincoln, which I loved--but never read it.
Here's how it starts...
"That is New York," I pointed to the waterfront just ahead as if the city were mine. Ships, barges, ferry boats, four-masted schooners were shoved like a child's toys against a confused jumble of buildings quite unfamiliar to me, a mingling of red brick and brownstone, of painted wood and dull granite, of church towers that I had never seen before and odd bulbous-domed creations of--cement? More suitable for the adornment of the Golden Horn than for my native city.Now that I've read the opening, I can't wait to get to it in earnest!
Here's the Amazon blurb: