A Fantastical First Line Friday

Growing up, I devoured most any fantasy books I could get my hands on. It almost certainly started with picture books—anything involving witches or magic immediately caught my attention. Soon I was moving on to Bruce Coville and his Goblins in the Castle and later to Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series and beyond. After high school, though, and mostly thanks to a college curriculum that was more focused on theatre texts, I slipped away from fantasy worlds. However, lately I’ve been been making the trek back, primarily seeking out anything both fantastical and funny, because, really, who doesn’t need an escape right now?

For this First Line Friday I’d like to share the opening to one of my recent favorites.

After a particularly unrewarding interview with his beloved, Malcolm was driving home along a dark, winding country lane when he ran over a badger. He stopped the car and got out to inspect the damage to his paintwork and (largely from curiosity) to the badger. It was, he decided, all he needed, for there was a small but noticeable dent in his wing, and he had been hoping to sell the car.

‘Damn,’ he said aloud.

‘So how do you think I feel?’ said the badger.

Title: Expecting Someone Taller
Author: Tom Holt
Publisher: Ace
Publication Date: 1987
Classification: Fantasy

Publisher’s Page | Goodreads

Note: First Line Fridays is a feature hosted by Hoarding Books. Be sure to check out their weekly post to find other participants and some great first lines.


  1. Haha. The book title alone makes me want to check this out. Tom Holt is very famous, isn’t he, in the comic fantasy genre? I haven’t yet tried any of his books, though I understand he also writes under other names.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Apparently he’s incredibly popular, but I’m so out of the loop on fantasy that most of his stuff completely passed me by. When I was looking for suggestions, his name popped up a lot—particularly this book. But yes! Apparently he also writes under the name K. J. Parker, which he kept a secret for seventeen years.

      Liked by 1 person

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