The weather today reminds me of those hot winds we used to get in Southern California: the Santa Ana winds. As kids, we kind of reveled in that weather; walking to school felt exhilarating, with the wind blowing hot air down our necks. We got giddy. We jumped in our seats. There was also a hint of danger; anything could happen. Our parents looked distracted, as if thinking of times and places far away--lost friends, lost selves.
The master crime novelist, Raymond Chandler, got it just right in his story "Red Wind." I often think of this memorable opening paragraph when the weather turns like this:
"There was a desert wind blowing that night. It was one of those hot dry Santa Anas that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. On nights like that every booze party ends in a fight. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands' necks. Anything can happen. You can even get a full glass of beer at a cocktail lounge."
What are some memorable opening paragraphs of books you love?