First impressions

July 18, 1997

This week's First Impressions, the competition in which you have to identify a book from its opening line, comes from an author who was given a year to live in 1959 but did not die until 34 years later: "What's it going to be then, eh?"

Entries should be submitted to First Impressions, The THES, Admiral House, 66-68 East Smithfield, London E1 9XY, faxed to 0171-782 3300 or emailed to

The winner receives a Pounds 20 book token and the closing date is July 22. The winner of last week's competition, who identified Arthur Koestler's The Sleepwalkers, is Philip Gunn of Reading, Berkshire.

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