Best-Tellers List

After learning a few weeks ago that Dick Cheney had signed a contract to write a memoir about his long career in government and industry, we challenged readers to propose a first paragraph for the former veep's book. Culling the several hundred entries was, needless to say, a torturous process. Today we present some of our favorite renditions.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

I rack my brain whenever I search for the first sentence of anything I am composing. This thoughtful approach guided me as I sought a way to begin this memoir. I showed what I had written to Lynne. She immediately drew a big delete mark through my first two words and admonished me to get rid of "I rack." I replied, "I did."

-- Marla Peterson, Knoxville, Tenn.

On January 30, 1941, I entered the world a purple-faced, screaming baby. Some would have you believe that this is how I have existed ever since -- or at the very least during my years of public service. The truth is, I am much less evil and much more competent than most would give me credit for; after all, I have found success as a father, husband, CEO, chief of staff, congressman, cabinet member, and vice president of the United States. The insults so often hurled in my direction are actually ill-disguised contempt for the American system that was the vessel of my achievements. I am Richard Bruce Cheney, and this is my side of the story.

-- Paul Perrin, Silver Spring


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