Another round of favorite opening lines. Some of these are long, some very short, but all of them not only draw you in and make you want to keep reading, but tell you what kind of book it’s going to be.
THE PRINCESS BRIDE, WILLIAM GOLDMAN:
This is my favorite book in all the world, though I have never read it.
CARRIE, STEPHEN KING:
Nobody was really surprised when it happened, not really, not at the subconscious level where savage things grow.
THE MARTIAN, ANDY WEIR:
I’m pretty much fucked.
THE HOBBIT, J.R.R. TOLKIEN:
In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.
GOOD OMENS, TERRY PRATCHETT & NEIL GAIMAN:
It was a nice day. All the days had been nice. There had been rather more than seven of them so far, and rain hadn’t been invented yet. But clouds massing east of Eden suggested that the first thunderstorm was on its way, and it was going to be a big one. The angel of the Eastern Gate put his wings over his head to shield himself from the first drops.
2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, ARTHUR C. CLARKE:
Behind every man now alive stand thirty ghosts, for that is the ratio by which the dead outnumber the living.
A HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY, DOUGLAS ADAMS:
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-eight 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.
A CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES, JOHN KENNEDY TOOLE:
A green hunting cap squeezed the top of the fleshy balloon of a head. The green earflaps, full of large ears and uncut hair and the fine bristles that grew in the ears themselves, stuck out on either side like turn signals indicating two directions at once. Full, pursed lips protruded beneath the bushy black moustache and, at their corners, sank into little folds filled with disapproval and potato chip crumbs. In the shadow under the green visor of the cap Ignatius J. Reilly’s supercilious blue and yellow eyes looked down upon the other people waiting under the clock at the D.H. Holmes department store, studying the crowd of people for signs of bad taste in dress. Several of the outfits, Ignatius noticed, were new enough and expensive enough to be properly considered offenses against taste and decency. Possession of anything new or expensive only reflected a person’s lack of theology and geometry; it could even cast doubts upon one’s soul.
THE BOOK OF LOST THINGS, JOHN CONNELLY
Once upon a time – for that is how all stories should begin – there was a boy who lost his mother.
THE MAGICIANS, LEV GROSSMAN
Quentin did a magic trick. Nobody noticed.