here is an excellent first line of an excellent book.
A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Toltz
''You never hear about a sportsman losing his sense of smell in a tragic accident, and for good reason; in order for the universe to teach excruciating lessons that we are unable to apply in later life, the sportsman must lose his legs, the philosopher his mind, the painter his eyes, the musician his ears, the chef his tongue.''
and I can't resist a bit more
''Most of my life I never worked out whether to pity, ignore, adore, judge or murder my father. His mystifying behaviour left me wavering right up until the end. He had conflicting ideas about anything and everything, especially my schooling: eight months into kindergarten he decided he didn't want me there any more because the education system was 'stultifying, soul-destroying, archaic and mundane'. I don't know how anyone could call finger painting archaic and mundane. Messy, yes. Soul-destroying, no. He took me out of school with the intention of educating me himself, and instead of letting me fingerpaint he read me the letters Vincent van Gogh wrote to his brother Theo right before he cut off his ear, and also passages from the book Human, All Too Human so that together we could 'rescue Nietzsche from the Nazis'. Then dad got distracted with the time-chewing business of staring into space, and I sat around the house twiddling my thumbs, wishing there was paint on them. ''
really brilliant, I've just bought it for my friend Kate for her birthday so I slightly revisited it on the bus.