I remember books by their beginnings. This may not be fair. Sometimes, an ordinary beginning leads the reader coquettishly, cleverly, into the multi-layered complexity of a stunning narrative you couldn't have guessed at by its first page. That's happened to me enough times, as a reader, to urge me past an opening paragraph that bores or fails to seduce or just doesn't promise enough, to the next page and the next until suddenly I'm four pages from the end and panicking, wishing there was more. But still, I'm a sucker for that beautiful first page or paragraph. Often, it means the difference between taking a book home and leaving it on the bookshop shelf.