Thursday 13: 13 Best First Lines from Novels


American Book Review featured "100 Best First Lines from Novels" and among the hundred I chose 13 for this week's Thursday 13.

  1. It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife. — Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice(1813)
  2. Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. — Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita (1955)
  3. Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. — Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina (1877; trans. Constance Garnett)
  4. It was a pleasure to burn. — Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451 (1953)
  5. It was love at first sight. — Joseph Heller, Catch-22 (1961)
  1. Once upon a time, there was a woman who discovered she had turned into the wrong person. — Anne Tyler, Back When We Were Grownups (2001)
  1. "When your mama was the geek, my dreamlets," Papa would say, "she made the nipping off of noggins such a crystal mystery that the hens themselves yearned toward her, waltzing around her, hypnotized with longing." — Katherine Dunn, Geek Love (1983)
  1. Of all the things that drive men to sea, the most common disaster, I've come to learn, is women. — Charles Johnson, Middle Passage (1990)
  1. Psychics can see the color of time it's blue. — Ronald Sukenick, Blown Away(1986)
  2. In the town, there were two mutes and they were always together. — Carson McCullers, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter (1940)
  3. Time is not a line but a dimension, like the dimensions of space. — Margaret Atwood, Cat's Eye (1988)
  1. In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I've been turning over in my mind ever since. — F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby (1925)
  1. You better not never tell nobody but God. — Alice Walker, The Color Purple(1982)

What's your list for this week?

1 comment:

Amy said...

This is a fantastic post, I love it!

It's awesome to read just the first line from so many wonderful books. I especially like the opening lines from Pride & Prejudice, Anna Karenina, Back When We Were Grownups, Middle Passage and The Color Purple - They say so much in a few words.
It's so intereating to read only the opening lines which usually don't get a lot of attention in light of the entire book. But some of these sentences encompass the meaning behind the entire story, some foreshadow & are ominous, some tell you who or what to pay attention to...

I'm going to try to remember to pay more attention to the opening sentence of the books I read!

~ Amy

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