"When the phone rang I was in the kitchen, boiling a potful of spaghetti and whistling along to and FM broadcast of the overture to Rossini's The Thieving Magpie, which has to be the perfect music..."
"He appeared at our house on a Sunday in November 189...(Davison translation)"
"He walks down the street."
"It was a short one-paragraph item in the morning edition."
"Barrabás came to us by sea, the child Clara wrote in her delicate calligraphy."
"Your Excellencies, Your Lordships, Your Honors, Citizens!"
"To be born again " sang Gibreel Farishta tumbling from the heavens, "first you have to die."
"There was once, in the country of Alifbay, a sad city, the saddest of cities, a city so ruinously sad that it had forgotten its name."
"I wake ... the touch of that cold object against my penis awakens me."
"On a certain day in June, 19--, a young man was making his way on foot northward from the great City to a town or place called Edgewood, that he had been told of but had never visited."