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Another book meme

This one is quite familiar - I did a variant some time ago:

Grab your nearest book, go the 123rd page, find the fifth sentence and type that and the two sentences after it.

The book is Joe Sacco's graphic novel Palestine; I'm equating a text box with a sentence and assuming that the order is strictly top-to-bottom and left-to-right (it would be rather hard to do this with some of my other comics).


the kids are running

hurling stones over the bus


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For the sake of having a slightly more interesting quote, I'm going to interpret "where? Here in the theater" as one sentence. ("Where?" doesn't have a verb in it...) So that gives us, from the marvellous "Star Diaries" by Stanislaw Lem, a sci-fi Gulliver's Travels:

"Then I am the spare?"
"Then where is the I that was sitting here before?"

Last time I did that I wound up quoting Shafer's A Mathematical Theory of Evidence; I'm steering clear of this one from now on.

From Alastair Reynolds "Pushing Ice":

"Then there must be extra noise leaking in from somewhere." Bella glared at the technical note: it swan in and out of focus like a fish under watter. "Have you looked at the cooling system on the pre-amplifier box?"

[rummages in handbag]

A-ha. Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere.
Varney, who had stumbled to his feet, picked up the crowbar with his mind. The Marquis watched him do it; and he said nothing. The ghost of a smile hovered about Door's lips.

It's a bit of a strange book...

"Tell me what you think I'm thinking?"
"I think you're thinking it's time we got off this ship"
"I think you're right".

Given that I'm now next to the start of the remains of my alphabetised library (by which I mean, a bookshelf that hasn't been de-alphabetised over the last 8 years), what book am I now closest to, and by whom was it written? And for even more bonus points, what is the book that should be the closest to me? And can anyone tell me why it should still be in my house?

What book am I now closest to?

    The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, of course.

And by whom was it written?

    The incomparable genius that was Douglas Adams.

And for even more bonus points, what is the book that should be the closest to me?

    The Hickhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

And can anyone tell me why it should still be in my house?

    Otherwise you might panic which would be bad especially if you were wearing your Joo Janta 200 Super-Chromatic Peril Sensitive Sunglasses :o)

It's hard to say which is closest, there are books scattered all over this room, on shelves, under the bed, on the window sill...

"Bloke over in Pimlico"
"Magic. Tell Terry I'll see him Saturday about the money."


Ironically, for the man who had guts enough to order the dropping of the atom bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki (a filthy despicable decision perhaps, but a gutsy one nevertheless), he had throughout his presidency considerable difficulty in getting his measures through Congress. This was a particular pity in the case of his Fair Deal programme, which contained reforms in the fields of, for example, civil rights, education and the health service.
Although apparently vastly unpopular, he shocked all the pundits by successfully running for reelection in 1948.


pfa will be identified as a name and thus as a directl-dcl. Then pfa[] is also a direct-dcl. Then *pfa[] is a recognised as a dcl, so (*pfa[]) is a direct-dcl.

[Hmm, "is a recognised as a dcl", I found a mistake in one of my favourite books, but it's probably already been fixed in a newer edition.]


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