Today I found 100 Best First Lines of Novels as chosen by the editors of American Book Reviews. I found this interesting because, even though I definitely have not read most of these books, many of the beginning lines are familiar to me. It just goes to show that the first line of a book is very important, and can often make or break the success of a novel. Here are a few of the first lines from the list - what titles can you name?
"Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show."
"Call me Ishmael."
"Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way."
"I had the story, bit by bit, from various people, and, as generally happens in such cases, each time it was a different story."
"It was a pleasure to burn."
"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife."
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair."
"You better not never tell nobody but God."
"There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it."
"The cold passed reluctantly from the earth, and the retiring fogs revealed an army stretched out on the hills, resting."
"In the late summer of that year we lived in a house in a village that looked across the river and the plain to the mountains."