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Favourite Opening Lines

Discussion in 'Book club' started by Bethannie, Sep 28, 2011.

  1. Bethannie

    Bethannie New commenter

    Where do I begin.......

    "It was a dark and stormy night. Suddenly a shot rang out...."
    Snoopy - It was a dark and stormy night...(Or just about any other of the great novelist Snoopy's works - they all pretty much start this way!)
    Seriously , if you haven't read Snoopy's novel (OK, Charles Schulz maybe should share credit!) then do so now! It's really short and just about perfect!

    "The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there"
    L P Hartley - The Go-Between
    A brilliant opening to an amzing book!

    "It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking 13"
    George Orwell - 1984

  2. "Last night, I dreamt I went to Maderley again" - Rebecca, Daphne Du Maurier.
  3. wiemaranerlover

    wiemaranerlover New commenter

    "There was no possibility of taking a walk that day."
  4. wiemaranerlover

    wiemaranerlover New commenter

    Mine too, in addition to Jane Eyre above.

    Not quite the opening line, but after the witches... "What bloody man is that?" The Scottish play.
  5. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    How do people remember the opening lines of books? I only know the opening line of a Tale of Two Cities. I bet there are only about half a dozen famous opening lines.
  6. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    I bet there are a few more than that...
    Depends on your interpretation of 'famous' anyway.
    I'm interested in favourite, rather than famous in any case.
    Two more spring to mind:
    "The first time Yossarian saw the chaplain he fell madly in love with him" - Catch 22
    "Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice." - One Hundred Years of Solitude
    Great shout, Bethannie.
  7. "It was the day my grandmother exploded" ....... Iain Banks - The Crow Road
  8. When he was nearly thirteen my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow. - To kill a mockingbird, Harper Lee
  9. FrauSue

    FrauSue New commenter

    One of my favourite opening paragraphs is "Lolita" - it's so poetic.
    Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta.
  10. Underachiever

    Underachiever New commenter

    It is a truth universally acknowledged that Jane Austen wrote the best opening line ever, but how about this:
    'It was inevitable: the scent of bitter almonds always reminded him of the fate of unrequited love.' Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marques

  11. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    Great line and a great book
    "If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of ****, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth."
    JD Salinger - The Catcher in the Rye
    "One summer afternoon Mrs. Oedipa Maas came home from a Tupperware party whose hostess had put perhaps too much kirsch in the fondue to find that she, Oedipa, had been named executor, or she supposed executrix, of the estate of one Pierce Inverarity, a California real estate mogul who had once lost two million dollars in his spare time but still had assets numerous and tangled enough to make the job of sorting it all out more than honorary."
    Thomas Pynchon - The Crying of Lot 49
    "Dr Iannis had enjoyed a satisfactory day in which none of his patients had died or got any worse"
    Louis de Bernieres - Captain Corelli's Mandolin
  12. captain oats

    captain oats New commenter

    Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.

    I know it won't be the most popular choice but I remember seeing the book in a shop (before it was really popular) I picked it up and read that first line and I was hooked.
  13. From memory....

    "Christmas won't be Christmas without any presents" groaned Jo

    Little Women
  14. <table cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" align="center"><tr><td align="left"><font size="3">Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western Spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun.
    Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-two million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.
    Douglas Adams, The Hitch-Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy
  15. 'Hale knew, before he had been in Brighton three hours, that they meant to
    murder him'. Brighton Rock, Graham Greene
  16. 'The man in black fled across the desert and the gunslinger followed' The Gunslinger, Stephen King
  17. ALso love Harry P and the Hitchhikers Guide ones.Do people really enjoy'Love in the Time of Cholera'? My fave: 'I write this sitting in the kitchen sink'. - I captue the castle, Dodi Smith. Speaks to my soul that does!
  18. Underachiever

    Underachiever New commenter

    Why would you not enjoy 'Love in the Time of Cholera'?
  19. Not quite the opening lines (opening page) and two lines really, not one.
    "I have no money, no resources, no hopes. I am the happiest man alive." Henry Miller. Tropic of Cancer
  20. 'I write this sitting in the kitchen sink' from I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith.
    I love this; it is just so quaint and bizarre!

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