The Blue Afternoon

the blue afternoon“I remember that afternoon, not long into our travels, sitting on deck in the mid-Atlantic sun on a slightly smirched and foggy day, the sky a pale washed-out blue above the smokestacks, that I asked my father what it was like to pick up a knife and make an incision into living flesh.” –The Blue Afternoon, William Boyd

Now THAT is an interesting first sentence! Rereading it now, I see the subtle reference to a “blue afternoon” here, but it’s not the titular one that stays so memorably in the reader’s mind. However, this first sentence very much reflects the novel— Boyd’s  beautiful, atmospheric writing,  a feeling of romance, and yet something gruesome and unexpected. Continue reading