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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Excerpt: Chime by Franny Billingsley

As I'm sure you all know by now, a million things have conspired against me this month to keep me from reading and reviewing all of the books I wanted to for you. Franny Billingsley's Chime is one of the books that I'm going to have to cut, which is a shame because it was actually one of the ones that started this year's theme of supernatural-quirky/oddball. I was really looking forward to it, and even more so now that it's been shortlisted for this year's (controversial) National Book Award.
At any rate, I will be reading this sooner rather than later (just not for Helluva Halloween) because the opening chapter - which I have for you below - has my dying to know what's going on.

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1. The Trial

I've confessed to everything and I'd like to be hanged.

Now, if you please.

I don't mean to be difficult, but I can't bear to tell my story.  I can't relive those memories -- the touch of the Dead Hand, the smell of eel, the gulp and swallow of the swamp.

How can you possibly think me innocent?  Don't let my face fool you; it tells the worst lies.  A girl can have the face of an angel but have a horrid sort of heart.

I know you believe you're giving me a chance -- or, rather, it's the Chime Child giving me the chance. She's desperate, of course, not to hang an innocent girl again, but please believe me: Nothing in my story will absolve me of guilt. It will only prove what I've already told you, which is that I'm wicked.

Can't the Chime Child take my word for it?

In any event, where does she expect me to begin? The story of a wicked girl has no true beginning. I've have to begin with the day I was born.

If Eldric were to tell the story, he'd likely begin with himself, on the day he arrived in the Swampsea. That's where proper stories begin, don't they, when the handsome stranger arrives and everything goes wrong?

But this isn't a proper story, and I'm telling you, I ought to be hanged.

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Click here to be taken to the Helluva Halloween Main Page!


  1. Oooh! This sounds delightfully creepy! I've been following a bit of the National Book Award drama but I knew very little about this title. Hope the rest of the novel is as catchy as the opening!

  2. Dude!!! Right? Isn't that always how it is? You start something and the a million things keep you from it! Well I think you are doing FABULOUS!

    And now I'm going to buy Chime... Blaming it on you when hubs asks WHY I bought 15 more books I didn't need this week. ;) that excerpt is awesome!!!

  3. Wow, that sounds super intriguing can't wait to check this out!!

  4. I've done this with a lot of books. I hope you can finish Chime soon b/c I'd love to hear what you have to say about it. I absolutely loved it.

  5. I loved CHIME!!!! One of my faves of the entire year. I hope you do get to read it.

  6. Dude, Chime is my favourite book of the year. The writing is so gorgeous and it has one of the most awesome kiss scenes ever.

  7. KILLER excerpt. TBR, here I come...


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