Opening lines

With flagrant disregard for my new year’s resolution to stop re-reading books, I’m currently re-reading The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes.* I started reading it on holiday, when I thought the resolution probably didn’t count, and I don’t seem to have stopped yet.

But it’s not my fault! This morning I read the opening lines of The Three Garridebs:

It may have been a comedy, or it may have been a tragedy. It cost one man his reason, it cost me a blood-letting, and it cost yet another man the penalties of the law. Yet there was certainly an element of comedy. Well, you shall judge for yourselves.

Would you be able to stop reading there?

*I wanted to link to the classic orange, black and white Penguin edition, which is the one I’m reading, but Amazon don’t seem to stock it. The first version I read was a facsimile of the original Strand Magazine stories, complete with Sidney Paget’s illustrations, which I can still remember vividly and which are so firmly ensconced in the collective consciousness that every film and TV adaptation looks exactly like them. Unfortunately Strand Magazine was magazine-sized, and the book was book-sized, so the text was minuscule. But it was worth squinting over.