Arthur Hailey: first lines

Courtesy The Times, which decided to enliven its obituary of Arthur Hailey (‘Airport’, ‘Hotel’ etc) by letting us know just why the only thing more solid than his writing was the mass of blocky prose he could stick between two covers.


The president of General Motors was in a foul humor.

Wheels 1971

At half-past six on a Friday evening in January, Lincoln International Airport, Illinois, was functioning, though with difficulty.

Airport 1968

If he had his way, Peter McDermott thought, he would have fired the chief house detective long ago. But he had not had his way and now, once more, the obese ex-policeman was missing when he was needed most.

Hotel 1965

Heat! Heat in stifling blanket layers. Heat that enveloped all of California from the arid Mexican border in the south to majestic Klamath Forest, elbowing northward into Oregon. Heat, oppressive and enervating.

Overload 1978

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