You’ve heard the adage: don’t judge a book by its cover, but how about by its first line? I’m not sure if I am always that aware of the first lines in books. If I really like the book then I might go back and check out the first line so see if it was a grabber or not. Based on my own experience I’m guessing that selection of favorite first lines is often a fairly subjective decision based on the whole book. But perhaps learning about good first lines can entice a person to pick up and read a book. Listed below is a list of a few of my favorite first lines in books. My hope is that you have some favorite first lines that you can share with me. Join in the discussion. Name the book, author, and quote the first line.
"We went to the moon to have fun, but the moon turned out to completely suck."
"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."
The Year of Magical Thinking
Life changes fast. Life changes in an instant. You sit down to dinner and life as you knew it ends.
du Maurier, Daphne
"Last night I dreamt I went to Manderly again."
"I was born twice: first as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day in January 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petosky, Michigan, in August of 1974."
The Key to Rebecca
"The last camel collapsed at noon."
"It begins, as most things begin, with a song."
Voyage of the Dawn Treader
"There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it."
The Teacher's Funeral
"If a teacher has to die, August isn't a bad time of the year for it."
Stiff: Curious Lives of Human Cadavers
"The way I see it, being dead is not terribly far off from being on a cruise ship. Most of the time is spent lying on your back."
"Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way."
Millicent Min, Girl Genius
"I've been accused of being anal retentive, an over-achiever, and a compulsive perfectionist, like those are bad things."
P.S. By clicking on the picture at the top of this post you will be linked to a game called Famous First Lines.