Booking Through Thursday
Suggested by: Nithin
Here’s another idea about memorable first lines from books.
What are your favourite first sentences from books? Is there a book that you liked specially because of its first sentence? Or a book, perhaps that you didn’t like but still remember simply because of the first line?
A good opening line can make or break a book. I once was part of a writing group where writers obsessed over their first lines. An agent or a publisher could be swayed by that first line or bored to death. Whether you became a famous novelist depended on that opening. That's a lot of pressure!
Of course, some writer's make it look easy. There are quite a few that stick in my mind:
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.
Lolita is a disturbing novel but the beauty of the words is revealed in the first line. The whole novel plays with the English language in this way.
Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.
Daphne DuMaurier's first line in Rebecca already sets us up for a gothic tale. She dreams of a mysterious place called Manderley. What is this place and why does she dream of it? It's short but makes you want to read more.
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.
Universally acknowledged as the most recognizable first line of Jane Austen's novels (Pride and Prejudice), it gives us an idea of what a single man in possession of a good fortune has to face when he enters the novel. He's toast, Baby!
First lines must make an impression on me, because not only are these my favorite first lines but also some of my favorite books.