Best First Lines

Beschrijving
Novels that have excellent or memorable first lines. Started from American Book Review's 100 Best First Lines from Novels (http://americanbookreview.org/100bestlines.asp)
1
79,840 leden
1,360 besprekingen
½ 4.4
5 Members
Aquila, merrystar, aethercowboy, ahef1963, ManWithAnAgenda
Verklaringen
aethercowboy: It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.
2
25,051 leden
251 besprekingen
4
6 Members
Aquila, hipdeep, merrystar, aethercowboy, ahef1963, ManWithAnAgenda
Verklaringen
aethercowboy: There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it
3
93,388 leden
1,182 besprekingen
½ 4.3
5 Members
Aquila, hipdeep, merrystar, ahef1963, ManWithAnAgenda
Verklaringen
hipdeep: In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.
4
9,140 leden
292 besprekingen
4.1
5 Members
Aquila, merrystar, aethercowboy, ahef1963, ManWithAnAgenda
Verklaringen
aethercowboy: I write this sitting in the kitchen sink.
5
81,192 leden
1,263 besprekingen
4.2
5 Members
Aquila, hipdeep, aethercowboy, ahef1963, ManWithAnAgenda
Verklaringen
aethercowboy: It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.
6
36,277 leden
450 besprekingen
3.9
5 Members
Aquila, hipdeep, merrystar, aethercowboy, ahef1963
Verklaringen
aethercowboy: 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.
7
53,306 leden
987 besprekingen
4
5 Members
hipdeep, merrystar, aethercowboy, ahef1963, ManWithAnAgenda
Verklaringen
aethercowboy: It was a pleasure to burn.
8
24,565 leden
528 besprekingen
½ 4.3
4 Members
Aquila, hipdeep, merrystar, ahef1963
Verklaringen
hipdeep: This is my favorite book in all the world, though I've never read it.
9
24,347 leden
519 besprekingen
4.1
3 Members
hipdeep, merrystar, ahef1963
Verklaringen
hipdeep: Marley was dead, to begin with.
10
42,514 leden
518 besprekingen
3.9
4 Members
hipdeep, aethercowboy, ahef1963, ManWithAnAgenda
Verklaringen
aethercowboy: You don't know about me without you have read a book by the name of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; but that ain't no matter.
11
43,694 leden
701 besprekingen
4.1
4 Members
hipdeep, aethercowboy, ahef1963, ManWithAnAgenda
Verklaringen
aethercowboy: All this happened, more or less.
12
20,492 leden
602 besprekingen
4.2
3 Members
Aquila, hipdeep, ahef1963
Verklaringen
hipdeep: Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.
13
18,910 leden
343 besprekingen
4
4 Members
hipdeep, aethercowboy, ahef1963, ManWithAnAgenda
Verklaringen
aethercowboy: Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board.
14
44,071 leden
683 besprekingen
4.2
3 Members
hipdeep, aethercowboy, ahef1963
Verklaringen
aethercowboy: 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.
15
38,060 leden
618 besprekingen
4.1
3 Members
Aquila, hipdeep, aethercowboy
Verklaringen
aethercowboy: Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.
16
35,153 leden
539 besprekingen
3.8
2 Members
aethercowboy, ManWithAnAgenda
Verklaringen
aethercowboy: Call me Ishmael.
17
9,569 leden
427 besprekingen
3.9
2 Members
ahef1963, ManWithAnAgenda
Verklaringen
ManWithAnAgenda: No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream.
18
69,103 leden
1,073 besprekingen
3.8
3 Members
aethercowboy, ahef1963, ManWithAnAgenda
Verklaringen
aethercowboy: 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 crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.
19
27,850 leden
497 besprekingen
4
3 Members
aethercowboy, ahef1963, ManWithAnAgenda
Verklaringen
aethercowboy: It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn't know what I was doing in New York.
20
15,760 leden
378 besprekingen
4
2 Members
Aquila, hipdeep
Verklaringen
Aquila: I’ll make my report as if I told a story, for I was taught as a child on my homeworld that Truth is a matter of the imagination.
21
7,602 leden
113 besprekingen
3.9
3 Members
aethercowboy, ahef1963, ManWithAnAgenda
Verklaringen
aethercowboy: I wish either my father or my mother, or indeed both of them, as they were in duty both equally bound to it, had minded what they were about when they begot me; had they duly considered how much depended upon what they were then doing;—that not only the production of a rational Being was concerned in it, but that possibly the happy formation and temperature of his body, perhaps his genius and the very cast of his mind;—and, for aught they knew to the contrary, even the fortunes of his whole house might take their turn from the humours and dispositions which were then uppermost:—Had they duly weighed and considered all this, and proceeded accordingly,—I am verily persuaded I should have made a quite different figure in the world, from that, in which the reader is likely to see me.
22
71,462 leden
1,158 besprekingen
3.8
3 Members
aethercowboy, ahef1963, ManWithAnAgenda
Verklaringen
aethercowboy: In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I've been turning over in my mind ever since.
23
21,059 leden
215 besprekingen
½ 3.7
3 Members
aethercowboy, ahef1963, ManWithAnAgenda
Verklaringen
aethercowboy: Once upon a time and a very good time it was there was a moocow coming down along the road and this moocow that was coming down along the road met a nicens little boy named baby tuckoo.
24
20,468 leden
268 besprekingen
4.1
3 Members
hipdeep, aethercowboy, ahef1963
Verklaringen
aethercowboy: 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.
25
30,231 leden
447 besprekingen
4.1
3 Members
hipdeep, aethercowboy, ManWithAnAgenda
Verklaringen
aethercowboy: Somewhere in la Mancha, in a place whose name I do not care to remember, a gentleman lived not long ago, one of those who has a lance and ancient shield on a shelf and keeps a skinny nag and a greyhound for racing.
26
22,592 leden
403 besprekingen
3.9
3 Members
aethercowboy, ahef1963, ManWithAnAgenda
Verklaringen
aethercowboy: 124 was spiteful.
27
18,622 leden
319 besprekingen
3.9
3 Members
Aquila, hipdeep, ahef1963
Verklaringen
Aquila: All children, except one, grow up.
28
35,187 leden
496 besprekingen
3.9
3 Members
aethercowboy, ahef1963, ManWithAnAgenda
Verklaringen
aethercowboy: Mother died today.
29
4,751 leden
112 besprekingen
3.8
2 Members
hipdeep, aethercowboy
Verklaringen
aethercowboy: This is the saddest story I have ever heard.
30
8,366 leden
251 besprekingen
½ 3.5
3 Members
aethercowboy, ahef1963, ManWithAnAgenda
Verklaringen
aethercowboy: They say when trouble comes close ranks, and so the white people did.
31
9,420 leden
212 besprekingen
½ 3.6
3 Members
Aquila, aethercowboy, ahef1963
Verklaringen
aethercowboy: I had the story, bit by bit, from various people, and, as generally happens in such cases, each time it was a different story.
32
7,822 leden
164 besprekingen
4
3 Members
hipdeep, ahef1963, ManWithAnAgenda
Verklaringen
hipdeep: Taran wanted to make a sword, but Coll, charged with the practical side of his education, decided on horseshoes.
33
10,640 leden
244 besprekingen
4
3 Members
aethercowboy, ahef1963, ManWithAnAgenda
Verklaringen
aethercowboy: In the town, there were two mutes and they were always together.
34
5,782 leden
108 besprekingen
4.1
2 Members
ahef1963, ManWithAnAgenda
Verklaringen
ManWithAnAgenda: My wound is geography.
35
19,535 leden
334 besprekingen
4.1
3 Members
aethercowboy, ahef1963, ManWithAnAgenda
Verklaringen
aethercowboy: You better not never tell nobody but God.
36
20,424 leden
330 besprekingen
3.9
3 Members
aethercowboy, ahef1963, ManWithAnAgenda
Verklaringen
aethercowboy: Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself.
37
6,164 leden
116 besprekingen
4.1
3 Members
aethercowboy, ahef1963, ManWithAnAgenda
Verklaringen
aethercowboy: I have never begun a novel with more misgiving.
38
6,478 leden
171 besprekingen
3.9
3 Members
hipdeep, aethercowboy, ManWithAnAgenda
Verklaringen
aethercowboy: A story has no beginning or end; arbitrarily one chooses that moment of experience from which to look back or from which to look ahead.
39
24,502 leden
319 besprekingen
½ 3.6
3 Members
aethercowboy, ahef1963, ManWithAnAgenda
Verklaringen
aethercowboy: I was born in the Year 1632, in the City of York, of a good Family, tho' not of that Country, my Father being a Foreigner of Bremen, who settled first at Hull; He got a good Estate by Merchandise, and leaving off his Trade, lived afterward at York, from whence he had married my Mother, whose Relations were named Robinson, a very good Family in that Country, and from whom I was called Robinson Kreutznaer; but by the usual Corruption of Words in England, we are now called, nay we call our selves, and write our Name Crusoe, and so my Companions always call'd me.
40
17,543 leden
330 besprekingen
4.2
3 Members
aethercowboy, ahef1963, ManWithAnAgenda
Verklaringen
aethercowboy: Miss Brooke had that kind of beauty which seems to be thrown into relief by poor dress.
41
11,943 leden
139 besprekingen
½ 3.7
3 Members
aethercowboy, ahef1963, ManWithAnAgenda
Verklaringen
aethercowboy: "To be born again," sang Gibreel Farishta tumbling from the heavens, "first you have to die."
42
22,945 leden
378 besprekingen
3.9
2 Members
hipdeep, aethercowboy
Verklaringen
aethercowboy: The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.
43
1,734 leden
55 besprekingen
4
2 Members
hipdeep, aethercowboy
Verklaringen
aethercowboy: He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad.
44
31,495 leden
554 besprekingen
4.1
2 Members
aethercowboy, ManWithAnAgenda
Verklaringen
aethercowboy: Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins.
45
26,136 leden
396 besprekingen
4
2 Members
Aquila, ahef1963
Verklaringen
Aquila: "Christmas won't be Christmas without any presents."
46
769 leden
33 besprekingen
½ 3.4
2 Members
aethercowboy, ManWithAnAgenda
Verklaringen
aethercowboy: The Miss Lonelyhearts of the New York Post-Dispatch (Are you in trouble?—Do-you-need-advice?—Write-to-Miss-Lonelyhearts-and-she-will-help-you) sat at his desk and stared at a piece of white cardboard.
47
5,294 leden
57 besprekingen
3.9
2 Members
aethercowboy, ahef1963
Verklaringen
aethercowboy: riverrun, past Eve and Adam's, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs.
48
16,180 leden
212 besprekingen
4
2 Members
hipdeep, aethercowboy
Verklaringen
aethercowboy: I am an invisible man.
49
118 leden
3 besprekingen
½ 3.7
Member
Macbeth
Verklaringen
Macbeth: I blame the Pope
50
19,771 leden
238 besprekingen
4
2 Members
aethercowboy, ManWithAnAgenda
Verklaringen
aethercowboy: Someone must have slandered Josef K., for one morning, without having done anything truly wrong, he was arrested.
51
21,782 leden
168 besprekingen
½ 3.7
2 Members
hipdeep, ahef1963
Verklaringen
hipdeep: Whan that Aprill with his shoures soote
The droghte of March hath perced to the roote, [...]
52
18,138 leden
306 besprekingen
3.8
2 Members
hipdeep, ahef1963
Verklaringen
hipdeep: No one would have believed, in the last years of the nineteenth century, that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man's and yet as mortal as his own; that as men busied themselves about their various concerns they were being scrutinized and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinize the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water.
53
12,406 leden
255 besprekingen
4.1
2 Members
aethercowboy, ahef1963
Verklaringen
aethercowboy: You are about to begin reading Italo Calvino's new novel, If on a winter's night a traveler.
54
2,302 leden
38 besprekingen
4
2 Members
aethercowboy, ManWithAnAgenda
Verklaringen
aethercowboy: The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.
55
556 leden
18 besprekingen
½ 3.5
2 Members
aethercowboy, ManWithAnAgenda
Verklaringen
aethercowboy: Dr. Weiss, at forty, knew that her life had been ruined by literature.
56
2,308 leden
77 besprekingen
½ 4.3
2 Members
hipdeep, ahef1963
Verklaringen
hipdeep: I don't know what I should talk about - about death or about love? Or are they the same?
57
10,939 leden
194 besprekingen
½ 3.7
2 Members
aethercowboy, ManWithAnAgenda
Verklaringen
aethercowboy: 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.
58
23,892 leden
374 besprekingen
4
2 Members
aethercowboy, ahef1963
Verklaringen
aethercowboy: Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed.
59
10,498 leden
175 besprekingen
3.9
2 Members
aethercowboy, ManWithAnAgenda
Verklaringen
aethercowboy: He—for there could be no doubt of his sex, though the fashion of the time did something to disguise it—was in the act of slicing at the head of a Moor which swung from the rafters.
60
1,438 leden
34 besprekingen
½ 3.7
2 Members
aethercowboy, ahef1963
Verklaringen
aethercowboy: It was a wrong number that started it, the telephone ringing three times in the dead of night, and the voice on the other end asking for someone he was not.
61
17,126 leden
224 besprekingen
4
2 Members
aethercowboy, ahef1963
Verklaringen
aethercowboy: Through the fence, between the curling flower spaces, I could see them hitting.
62
14,298 leden
192 besprekingen
4
2 Members
hipdeep, ahef1963
Verklaringen
hipdeep: We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold.
63
12,302 leden
215 besprekingen
3.9
2 Members
hipdeep, ahef1963
Verklaringen
hipdeep: When Gregor Samsa woke up one morning from unsettling dreams, he found himself changed in his bed into a monstrous vermin.
64
11,048 leden
181 besprekingen
4.2
2 Members
aethercowboy, ManWithAnAgenda
Verklaringen
aethercowboy: For a long time, I went to bed early.
65
30,434 leden
500 besprekingen
3.8
2 Members
aethercowboy, ahef1963
Verklaringen
aethercowboy: He was an old man who fished alone in a skiff in the Gulf Stream and he had gone eighty-four days now without taking a fish.
66
10,658 leden
142 besprekingen
4.1
Member
aethercowboy
Verklaringen
aethercowboy: A screaming comes across the sky.
67
768 leden
10 besprekingen
3.8
Member
ManWithAnAgenda
Verklaringen
ManWithAnAgenda: The telephone bell was ringing wildly, but without result, since there was no-one in the room but the corpse.
68
27,116 leden
629 besprekingen
4.1
2 Members
aethercowboy, ahef1963
Verklaringen
aethercowboy: I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day in January of 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of 1974.
69
8,955 leden
115 besprekingen
½ 3.7
2 Members
aethercowboy, ManWithAnAgenda
Verklaringen
aethercowboy: He was an inch, perhaps two, under six feet, powerfully built, and he advanced straight at you with a slight stoop of the shoulders, head forward, and a fixed from-under stare which made you think of a charging bull.
70
455 leden
19 besprekingen
3.9
Member
ManWithAnAgenda
Verklaringen
ManWithAnAgenda: I am thirty years old and that is nothing.
71
10,734 leden
126 besprekingen
3.9
Member
ManWithAnAgenda
Verklaringen
ManWithAnAgenda: Under certain circumstances there are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.
72
5,304 leden
337 besprekingen
4.1
Member
Aquila
Verklaringen
Aquila: I could have become a mass murderer after I hacked my governor module, but then I realized I could access the combined feed of entertainment channels carried on the company satellites.
73
4,312 leden
179 besprekingen
4.1
Member
Aquila
Verklaringen
Aquila: In the myriadic year of our lord—the ten thousandth year of the King Undying, the kindly Prince of Death!—Gideon Nav packed her sword, her shoes, and her dirty magazines, and she escaped from the House of the Ninth.
74
122 leden
4 besprekingen
3.9
Member
Aquila
Verklaringen
Aquila: Hal was not yet a prince when she fell in love with Lady Hotspur, but she would be within the hour.
75
door Nghi Vo
791 leden
28 besprekingen
½ 3.7
Member
Aquila
Verklaringen
Aquila: The wind came into the house from the Sound, and it blew Daisy and me around her East Egg mansion like puffs of dandelion seeds, like foam, like a pair of young woman in white dresses who had no cares to weigh them down.
76
8,719 leden
152 besprekingen
4.2
Member
hipdeep
Verklaringen
hipdeep: I am old now, and have not much to fear from the anger of gods.
77
1,855 leden
44 besprekingen
3.9
Member
Aquila
Verklaringen
Aquila: The note said: someone in this class is a witch.
78
10,633 leden
264 besprekingen
4.1
Member
Aquila
Verklaringen
Aquila: There was a wall.
79
2,496 leden
46 besprekingen
3.9
Member
Aquila
Verklaringen
Aquila: Apart from the one in the church tower, there were five clocks in the village that kept reasonable time, and my father owned one of them.
80
4,840 leden
119 besprekingen
½ 3.7
Member
Aquila
Verklaringen
Aquila: I had this story from one who had no business to tell it to me, or to any other.
81
1,643 leden
25 besprekingen
3.8
Member
aethercowboy
Verklaringen
aethercowboy: The sun shone, having no alternative, on the nothing new.
82
1,242 leden
82 besprekingen
½ 3.5
Member
hipdeep
Verklaringen
hipdeep: Once upon a time on a small, watery, excitable planet called Earth, in a small, watery, excitable country called Italy, a soft-spoken, rather nice-looking gentleman by the name of Enrico Fermi was born into a family so overprotective that he felt compelled to invent the atomic bomb.
83
238 leden
4 besprekingen
3.8
Member
hipdeep
Verklaringen
hipdeep: My old eighth-grade teacher, Miss Maggie Doubloon, said she was half Spanish, half French, and half Irish, a plethora of halves not entirely unnoticed by some of the brighter pupils.
84
4,833 leden
428 besprekingen
3.8
Member
hipdeep
Verklaringen
hipdeep: From the top of the large boulder he sat on, Ensign Tom Davis looked across the expanse of the cave toward Captain Lucius Abernathy, Science Officer Q'eeng, and Chief Engineer Paul West and thought, "Well, this sucks."
85
100 leden
1 bespreking
4
Member
aethercowboy
Verklaringen
aethercowboy: It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents, except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the house-tops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.
86
door Ha Jin
4,036 leden
81 besprekingen
½ 3.6
Member
aethercowboy
Verklaringen
aethercowboy: Every summer Lin Kong returned to Goose Village to divorce his wife, Shuyu.
87
12,407 leden
151 besprekingen
4.1
Member
aethercowboy
Verklaringen
aethercowboy: I am a sick man . . . I am a spiteful man.
88
570 leden
10 besprekingen
3.9
Member
aethercowboy
Verklaringen
aethercowboy: Where now? Who now? When now?
89
2,335 leden
102 besprekingen
3.8
Member
hipdeep
Verklaringen
hipdeep: Dirk Moeller didn't know if he could fart his way into a major diplomatic incident.
90
439 leden
3 besprekingen
3.1
Member
aethercowboy
Verklaringen
aethercowboy: Once an angry man dragged his father along the ground through his own orchard. "Stop!" cried the groaning old man at last, "Stop! I did not drag my father beyond this tree."
91
616 leden
11 besprekingen
½ 3.6
Member
aethercowboy
Verklaringen
aethercowboy: In a sense, I am Jacob Horner.
92
1,322 leden
28 besprekingen
3.8
Member
aethercowboy
Verklaringen
aethercowboy: It was like so, but wasn't.
93
1,361 leden
19 besprekingen
4.2
Member
aethercowboy
Verklaringen
aethercowboy: —Money . . . in a voice that rustled.
94
4,857 leden
49 besprekingen
3.8
Member
aethercowboy
Verklaringen
aethercowboy: They shoot the white girl first.
95
193 leden
2 besprekingen
½ 3.4
Member
aethercowboy
Verklaringen
aethercowboy: The moment one learns English, complications set in.
96
7,863 leden
139 besprekingen
4.2
Member
aethercowboy
Verklaringen
aethercowboy: I was the shadow of the waxwing slain By the false azure in the windowpane;
97
237 leden
6 besprekingen
½ 3.6
Member
aethercowboy
Verklaringen
aethercowboy: Ages ago, Alex, Allen and Alva arrived at Antibes, and Alva allowing all, allowing anyone, against Alex's admonition, against Allen's angry assertion: another African amusement . . . anyhow, as all argued, an awesome African army assembled and arduously advanced against an African anthill, assiduously annihilating ant after ant, and afterward, Alex astonishingly accuses Albert as also accepting Africa's antipodal ant annexation.
98
3,199 leden
60 besprekingen
4
Member
aethercowboy
Verklaringen
aethercowboy: It was the day my grandmother exploded.
99
1,526 leden
44 besprekingen
4
Member
aethercowboy
Verklaringen
aethercowboy: Elmer Gantry was drunk.
100
2,164 leden
37 besprekingen
3.9
Member
aethercowboy
Verklaringen
aethercowboy: We started dying before the snow, and like the snow, we continued to fall.