29 June 2010


Teaser Tuesday!
(A weekly meme blog hop hosted at Should Be Reading)

Have a taste of this week's sampling of teasers!

Bloggers doing this meme are supposed to share two sentences from a random page in their current read. These two sentences are meant to "tease" their regular readers by announcing an upcoming review--and also to "tease" casual visitors who might just be looking for their next book to read.

I have a difficult enough time finding good excerpts for my regular "reviews" (I use the term very loosely) to want to restrict myself to two consecutive sentences; but my latest featured book is such a whirlwind of different elements that I'll accept this challenge for the first time--even though the excerpt is not going to be random.

Nick Joaquin is a master at writing sentences that stretch on and on and on--in his book of historical essays A Question of Heroes he summed up over a hundred years of history, narrative style, in a single sentence that took up over one page and felt glorious (even though I needed a stiff drink at the end)--and I thought I'd give everyone a taste of that with this chunk of a teaser . . .

From The Woman Who Had Two Navels
by Nick Joaquin

By the time he met the senora de Vidal he had become deeply interested in Manila and was ready to be interested in any woman who most piquantly suggested that combination of primitive mysticism and slick modernity which he felt to be the special temper of the city and its people: pert girls dancing with abandon all night long in cabarets and fleeing in black veils to hear the first Mass at dawn; boys in the latest loudest Hollywood styles, with American slang in their mouths and the crucifix on their breasts; streets ornate with movie palaces and jammed with traffic through which leaf crowned and barefooted penitents carried a Black Christ in procession
--and always, up there above the crowds and hot dust and skeleton ruins and gay cabarets: the mountains, and the woman sleeping in a silence mighty with myth and mystery--for she was the ancient goddess of the land (said the people) sleeping out the thousand years of bondage; but when at last she awoke, it would be a Golden Age again for the land: no more suffering; no more toil; no rich and no poor.

So that when Paco Texeira met the senora de Vidal (he had been playing in Manila over a month by that time, and had been learning the city block by block and street by street) he had felt the same shock of recognition as when, glancing up from the ship's railing, he had suddenly seen the range of mountains that looked like a woman sleeping.

Yes, those are just two sentences! =D Ah, the magic of punctuation and flowing prose . . .

If that intimidates you, please don't worry. The whole book is written in a more manageable--but no less memorable--style. Joaquin just brings out the panoramic sentences when he wants to get, you know, panoramic.

And now it embarrasses me to admit this--especially since I've seen this very view in person--but I can't see the woman. Everyone else who was there that day, on the other hand, thought she was as plain as day. The story of my life.

Image Source: Mount Makiling


Sullivan McPig said...

A very vivid and rich description.
Thanks for this sneak peek.

Enbrethiliel said...


Thanks, Sully! =) It's certainly better than the excerpt I posted yesterday, isn't it?!

Felicia the Geeky Blogger said...

Great Teasers!

Felicia @ Geeky Bloggers Book Blog

Belfry Bat said...

I can't see the sleeping lady either; I could let myself get more imaginative about it, but I don't really think that's a good idea.

restlessreader said...

That's a great teaser. It really does paint a picture for you. Please check out my teaser over at Restless Reader

Enbrethiliel said...


Bat: Given the fate of everyone who has seen her (everyone in the novel, at least), that's probably not a bad thing!

Alayne said...

And the prize for longest teaser goes to... :) My teasers are at The Crowded Leaf.

Enbrethiliel said...


And I would like to thank the Academy of Book Bloggers for this wonderful award! You like me! You really like me!!!

Thanks for the chuckle, Alayne. Stop by any time! =D

Sullivan McPig said...

@Enbrethiliel: I like to get a taste of the writing style and that's hard with dialogue, so in that sense this one is better, but the other excerpt had it's own strong points.

Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow said...

Wow, those are sentences to write home about, aren't they?

Thanks for visiting my blog.

Emma Michaels said...

I am a follower now! Great teaser! I hope you will check out mine for Stephanie Meyer's latest novel The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner! Also, if you check back on my blog this Friday I have huge news about the novels I had been submitting to agents/publishers!

Emma Michaels

Sarah said...

Great Teaser!

Lorin said...

Huh, I'm not sure I see a woman sleeping, either.

Thanks for stopping by!

Enbrethiliel said...


Lorin, I really wonder at everyone who sees her, but I can't argue at hundreds of years of legend--and with the four good friends who were with me at the time! =)

Thanks for returning the visit!