Opening Lines

"That's torn it!" said Lord Peter Wimsey. 

Stack of booksSusan here, and that's a great start for a great book—a Dorothy Sayers mystery, but which one? The Nine Tailors.

The proverbial hook—the first sentence or two that pulls the reader in, catches attention, taps emotion, hints at something fascinating ahead, inviting the reader to find out more. If the first line doesn’t hit the mark, the reader may bow out quickly. Years ago, once I opened a book I would finish it, even if I had to slog through it, but I haven’t done that in a long while. If a book doesn’t catch me in the first few pages, even a chapter, I’m out and on to the next book. Often I’ll go back later and give it another try, for if you just push on, there's often a great read there. Sometimes the hook isn't a sentence–sometimes it's a subtle thing, more than a sentence, a slow build that grows on you. But sometimes the first line is intriguing, enticing, mysterious, magical–a portal to a story that you may never forget.

109583271.thbIt was a dark and stormy night.
— A Wrinkle in Time, Madeline L'Engle 

A great book might have a deceptively simple opening line that hints at something about character, situation, setting, mood that draws you in. Sometimes it’s the power or beauty of the author’s voice. Sometimes it’s humor, or an emotion that catches you, or a situation that makes you curious. Simple or complex, hang on—there may be an amazing world within those pages.

Hobbit_coverIn no particular order, well-known and less known, here are some of my favorite opening lines from some of my favorite books . . .

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.

The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkein   


I write this sitting in the kitchen sink.

I Capture the Castle, Dodie Smith

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife. — Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen

616MhdhZH7LPeter Blood, bachelor of medicine and several other things besides, smoked a pipe and tended the geraniums boxed on the sill of his window above Water Lane in the town of Bridgewater.

Captain Blood, Rafael Sabatini

When the east wind blows up Helford River the shining waters become troubled and disturbed and the little waves beat angrily upon the sandy shores.

– Frenchman’s Creek, Daphne du Maurier

When the girl came rushing up the steps, I decided she was wearing far too many clothes. 

The Silver Pigs, Lindsey Davis

51PAarM21RL._SY344_BO1 204 203 200_It was the egret, flying out of the lemon grove, that started it. 

The Moonspinners, Mary Stewart


The lad had the deep, burning eyes of a zealot.

The Prince of Midnight, Laura Kinsale

It’s still my favorite book in all the world.

The Princess Bride, William Goldman

“Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents,” grumbled Jo, lying on the rug.

–Little Women, Louisa May Alcott

Charles Howard had the feel of a gigantic onrushing machine: You had to either climb on or leap out of the way.

Seabiscuit, Laura Hillenbrand 

41mq8Bgjc2L._SX318_BO1 204 203 200_We had been wandering so long I had forgotten what it was like to live within walls or sleep through the night.

The Dovekeepers, Alice Hoffman

 

So there you go, a few of my favorite story portals — what's your favorite opening line in a novel? 

Susan 

245 thoughts on “Opening Lines”

  1. I’ll always have a soft spot for I Capture The Castle, it just gives you such a sense of Cassandra’s personality, doesn’t it?
    Another favourite is the opening of Dorothy Dunnett’s The Disorderly Knights “On the day that his grannie was killed by the English, Sir William Scott the Younger of Buccleuch was at Melrose Abbey, marrying his aunt.”

    Reply
  2. I’ll always have a soft spot for I Capture The Castle, it just gives you such a sense of Cassandra’s personality, doesn’t it?
    Another favourite is the opening of Dorothy Dunnett’s The Disorderly Knights “On the day that his grannie was killed by the English, Sir William Scott the Younger of Buccleuch was at Melrose Abbey, marrying his aunt.”

    Reply
  3. I’ll always have a soft spot for I Capture The Castle, it just gives you such a sense of Cassandra’s personality, doesn’t it?
    Another favourite is the opening of Dorothy Dunnett’s The Disorderly Knights “On the day that his grannie was killed by the English, Sir William Scott the Younger of Buccleuch was at Melrose Abbey, marrying his aunt.”

    Reply
  4. I’ll always have a soft spot for I Capture The Castle, it just gives you such a sense of Cassandra’s personality, doesn’t it?
    Another favourite is the opening of Dorothy Dunnett’s The Disorderly Knights “On the day that his grannie was killed by the English, Sir William Scott the Younger of Buccleuch was at Melrose Abbey, marrying his aunt.”

    Reply
  5. I’ll always have a soft spot for I Capture The Castle, it just gives you such a sense of Cassandra’s personality, doesn’t it?
    Another favourite is the opening of Dorothy Dunnett’s The Disorderly Knights “On the day that his grannie was killed by the English, Sir William Scott the Younger of Buccleuch was at Melrose Abbey, marrying his aunt.”

    Reply
  6. I immediately recognized I CAPTURE THE CASTLE, of course! Pretty darned distinctive. A very fun blog, Susan. I think my favorites of my own first lines are “She needed a husband and she needed one fast. ” From Shattered Rainbows, and “He was going to be hanged on Tuesday,” from my one Western novella, “Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know.” A good hook will take a reader a long way!

    Reply
  7. I immediately recognized I CAPTURE THE CASTLE, of course! Pretty darned distinctive. A very fun blog, Susan. I think my favorites of my own first lines are “She needed a husband and she needed one fast. ” From Shattered Rainbows, and “He was going to be hanged on Tuesday,” from my one Western novella, “Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know.” A good hook will take a reader a long way!

    Reply
  8. I immediately recognized I CAPTURE THE CASTLE, of course! Pretty darned distinctive. A very fun blog, Susan. I think my favorites of my own first lines are “She needed a husband and she needed one fast. ” From Shattered Rainbows, and “He was going to be hanged on Tuesday,” from my one Western novella, “Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know.” A good hook will take a reader a long way!

    Reply
  9. I immediately recognized I CAPTURE THE CASTLE, of course! Pretty darned distinctive. A very fun blog, Susan. I think my favorites of my own first lines are “She needed a husband and she needed one fast. ” From Shattered Rainbows, and “He was going to be hanged on Tuesday,” from my one Western novella, “Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know.” A good hook will take a reader a long way!

    Reply
  10. I immediately recognized I CAPTURE THE CASTLE, of course! Pretty darned distinctive. A very fun blog, Susan. I think my favorites of my own first lines are “She needed a husband and she needed one fast. ” From Shattered Rainbows, and “He was going to be hanged on Tuesday,” from my one Western novella, “Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know.” A good hook will take a reader a long way!

    Reply
  11. Favorite opening line would have to be from The Book Thief. “Here is a small fact: you are going to die.” Funny enough, however, I love that book on audiobook but have yet to succeed in reading it myself. (Sometimes the perfect narrator for the book is everything, apparently.)
    However, I must say an opening line isn’t as important to me as an opening paragraph.

    Reply
  12. Favorite opening line would have to be from The Book Thief. “Here is a small fact: you are going to die.” Funny enough, however, I love that book on audiobook but have yet to succeed in reading it myself. (Sometimes the perfect narrator for the book is everything, apparently.)
    However, I must say an opening line isn’t as important to me as an opening paragraph.

    Reply
  13. Favorite opening line would have to be from The Book Thief. “Here is a small fact: you are going to die.” Funny enough, however, I love that book on audiobook but have yet to succeed in reading it myself. (Sometimes the perfect narrator for the book is everything, apparently.)
    However, I must say an opening line isn’t as important to me as an opening paragraph.

    Reply
  14. Favorite opening line would have to be from The Book Thief. “Here is a small fact: you are going to die.” Funny enough, however, I love that book on audiobook but have yet to succeed in reading it myself. (Sometimes the perfect narrator for the book is everything, apparently.)
    However, I must say an opening line isn’t as important to me as an opening paragraph.

    Reply
  15. Favorite opening line would have to be from The Book Thief. “Here is a small fact: you are going to die.” Funny enough, however, I love that book on audiobook but have yet to succeed in reading it myself. (Sometimes the perfect narrator for the book is everything, apparently.)
    However, I must say an opening line isn’t as important to me as an opening paragraph.

    Reply
  16. “People disappear all the time. Ask any policeman. Better yet, ask a journalist. Disappearances are bread-and-butter to a journalist.” From Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

    Reply
  17. “People disappear all the time. Ask any policeman. Better yet, ask a journalist. Disappearances are bread-and-butter to a journalist.” From Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

    Reply
  18. “People disappear all the time. Ask any policeman. Better yet, ask a journalist. Disappearances are bread-and-butter to a journalist.” From Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

    Reply
  19. “People disappear all the time. Ask any policeman. Better yet, ask a journalist. Disappearances are bread-and-butter to a journalist.” From Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

    Reply
  20. “People disappear all the time. Ask any policeman. Better yet, ask a journalist. Disappearances are bread-and-butter to a journalist.” From Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

    Reply
  21. What a fun post, Susan. Thank you!
    “LOG ENTRY: SOL 6
    I’m pretty much f***ed.”
    I’m not generally one for obscenities, but if I were alone on Mars, I might make an exception! The above is the opening from The Martian by Andy Weir which was a great read.

    Reply
  22. What a fun post, Susan. Thank you!
    “LOG ENTRY: SOL 6
    I’m pretty much f***ed.”
    I’m not generally one for obscenities, but if I were alone on Mars, I might make an exception! The above is the opening from The Martian by Andy Weir which was a great read.

    Reply
  23. What a fun post, Susan. Thank you!
    “LOG ENTRY: SOL 6
    I’m pretty much f***ed.”
    I’m not generally one for obscenities, but if I were alone on Mars, I might make an exception! The above is the opening from The Martian by Andy Weir which was a great read.

    Reply
  24. What a fun post, Susan. Thank you!
    “LOG ENTRY: SOL 6
    I’m pretty much f***ed.”
    I’m not generally one for obscenities, but if I were alone on Mars, I might make an exception! The above is the opening from The Martian by Andy Weir which was a great read.

    Reply
  25. What a fun post, Susan. Thank you!
    “LOG ENTRY: SOL 6
    I’m pretty much f***ed.”
    I’m not generally one for obscenities, but if I were alone on Mars, I might make an exception! The above is the opening from The Martian by Andy Weir which was a great read.

    Reply
  26. The Amazon introduction to ‘It Happened One Night’ grabbed me:
    It Happened One Night . . . and nothing was ever the same again!
    Once upon a time, four superstar storytellers—New York Times bestselling authors Stephanie Laurens and Mary Balogh, along with Jacquie D’Alessandro and Candice Hern—came up with a delicious idea. What if they each wrote a story about a proper young lady stranded at a remote inn away from society’s constraints? What would happen? And how long would it take for her to give in to desire?
    The Laurens novella begins:
    It was a dark, stormy, and utterly miserable night. Rain fell from the sky in unrelenting sheets; whenever Robert “Rogue” Gerrard, fifth Viscount Gerrard, managed to squint through long lashes weighed down by icy droplets all he saw was more rain.

    Reply
  27. The Amazon introduction to ‘It Happened One Night’ grabbed me:
    It Happened One Night . . . and nothing was ever the same again!
    Once upon a time, four superstar storytellers—New York Times bestselling authors Stephanie Laurens and Mary Balogh, along with Jacquie D’Alessandro and Candice Hern—came up with a delicious idea. What if they each wrote a story about a proper young lady stranded at a remote inn away from society’s constraints? What would happen? And how long would it take for her to give in to desire?
    The Laurens novella begins:
    It was a dark, stormy, and utterly miserable night. Rain fell from the sky in unrelenting sheets; whenever Robert “Rogue” Gerrard, fifth Viscount Gerrard, managed to squint through long lashes weighed down by icy droplets all he saw was more rain.

    Reply
  28. The Amazon introduction to ‘It Happened One Night’ grabbed me:
    It Happened One Night . . . and nothing was ever the same again!
    Once upon a time, four superstar storytellers—New York Times bestselling authors Stephanie Laurens and Mary Balogh, along with Jacquie D’Alessandro and Candice Hern—came up with a delicious idea. What if they each wrote a story about a proper young lady stranded at a remote inn away from society’s constraints? What would happen? And how long would it take for her to give in to desire?
    The Laurens novella begins:
    It was a dark, stormy, and utterly miserable night. Rain fell from the sky in unrelenting sheets; whenever Robert “Rogue” Gerrard, fifth Viscount Gerrard, managed to squint through long lashes weighed down by icy droplets all he saw was more rain.

    Reply
  29. The Amazon introduction to ‘It Happened One Night’ grabbed me:
    It Happened One Night . . . and nothing was ever the same again!
    Once upon a time, four superstar storytellers—New York Times bestselling authors Stephanie Laurens and Mary Balogh, along with Jacquie D’Alessandro and Candice Hern—came up with a delicious idea. What if they each wrote a story about a proper young lady stranded at a remote inn away from society’s constraints? What would happen? And how long would it take for her to give in to desire?
    The Laurens novella begins:
    It was a dark, stormy, and utterly miserable night. Rain fell from the sky in unrelenting sheets; whenever Robert “Rogue” Gerrard, fifth Viscount Gerrard, managed to squint through long lashes weighed down by icy droplets all he saw was more rain.

    Reply
  30. The Amazon introduction to ‘It Happened One Night’ grabbed me:
    It Happened One Night . . . and nothing was ever the same again!
    Once upon a time, four superstar storytellers—New York Times bestselling authors Stephanie Laurens and Mary Balogh, along with Jacquie D’Alessandro and Candice Hern—came up with a delicious idea. What if they each wrote a story about a proper young lady stranded at a remote inn away from society’s constraints? What would happen? And how long would it take for her to give in to desire?
    The Laurens novella begins:
    It was a dark, stormy, and utterly miserable night. Rain fell from the sky in unrelenting sheets; whenever Robert “Rogue” Gerrard, fifth Viscount Gerrard, managed to squint through long lashes weighed down by icy droplets all he saw was more rain.

    Reply
  31. Not my favorite book but favorite opening line. “ Last night I dreamt I went to Manderlay again.”
    Daphne du Maurer’s Rebecca

    Reply
  32. Not my favorite book but favorite opening line. “ Last night I dreamt I went to Manderlay again.”
    Daphne du Maurer’s Rebecca

    Reply
  33. Not my favorite book but favorite opening line. “ Last night I dreamt I went to Manderlay again.”
    Daphne du Maurer’s Rebecca

    Reply
  34. Not my favorite book but favorite opening line. “ Last night I dreamt I went to Manderlay again.”
    Daphne du Maurer’s Rebecca

    Reply
  35. Not my favorite book but favorite opening line. “ Last night I dreamt I went to Manderlay again.”
    Daphne du Maurer’s Rebecca

    Reply
  36. Lord Peter Wimsey! My favorite detective of all time and The Nine Tailors is the best of the best. I was a handbell ringer for years and studied campanology for a while afterward though around here of course, no bells to pull. That has to be my favorite first line as well, just because the book is so good. But some of the others you mentioned were also quite memorable.
    I admit though, the first paragraph of Jaws, while seemingly descriptive at first and nothing else, gives just a chill by the end. I think it’s a very effective use of nothing in particular that sucks you in.

    Reply
  37. Lord Peter Wimsey! My favorite detective of all time and The Nine Tailors is the best of the best. I was a handbell ringer for years and studied campanology for a while afterward though around here of course, no bells to pull. That has to be my favorite first line as well, just because the book is so good. But some of the others you mentioned were also quite memorable.
    I admit though, the first paragraph of Jaws, while seemingly descriptive at first and nothing else, gives just a chill by the end. I think it’s a very effective use of nothing in particular that sucks you in.

    Reply
  38. Lord Peter Wimsey! My favorite detective of all time and The Nine Tailors is the best of the best. I was a handbell ringer for years and studied campanology for a while afterward though around here of course, no bells to pull. That has to be my favorite first line as well, just because the book is so good. But some of the others you mentioned were also quite memorable.
    I admit though, the first paragraph of Jaws, while seemingly descriptive at first and nothing else, gives just a chill by the end. I think it’s a very effective use of nothing in particular that sucks you in.

    Reply
  39. Lord Peter Wimsey! My favorite detective of all time and The Nine Tailors is the best of the best. I was a handbell ringer for years and studied campanology for a while afterward though around here of course, no bells to pull. That has to be my favorite first line as well, just because the book is so good. But some of the others you mentioned were also quite memorable.
    I admit though, the first paragraph of Jaws, while seemingly descriptive at first and nothing else, gives just a chill by the end. I think it’s a very effective use of nothing in particular that sucks you in.

    Reply
  40. Lord Peter Wimsey! My favorite detective of all time and The Nine Tailors is the best of the best. I was a handbell ringer for years and studied campanology for a while afterward though around here of course, no bells to pull. That has to be my favorite first line as well, just because the book is so good. But some of the others you mentioned were also quite memorable.
    I admit though, the first paragraph of Jaws, while seemingly descriptive at first and nothing else, gives just a chill by the end. I think it’s a very effective use of nothing in particular that sucks you in.

    Reply
  41. “To say that I met Nicholas Brisbane over my husband’s dead body is not entirely accurate. Edward, it should be noted, was still twitching upon the floor.” Deanna Raybourn, Silent in the Grave.
    I also love the opening lines of nearly every Mary Stewart.

    Reply
  42. “To say that I met Nicholas Brisbane over my husband’s dead body is not entirely accurate. Edward, it should be noted, was still twitching upon the floor.” Deanna Raybourn, Silent in the Grave.
    I also love the opening lines of nearly every Mary Stewart.

    Reply
  43. “To say that I met Nicholas Brisbane over my husband’s dead body is not entirely accurate. Edward, it should be noted, was still twitching upon the floor.” Deanna Raybourn, Silent in the Grave.
    I also love the opening lines of nearly every Mary Stewart.

    Reply
  44. “To say that I met Nicholas Brisbane over my husband’s dead body is not entirely accurate. Edward, it should be noted, was still twitching upon the floor.” Deanna Raybourn, Silent in the Grave.
    I also love the opening lines of nearly every Mary Stewart.

    Reply
  45. “To say that I met Nicholas Brisbane over my husband’s dead body is not entirely accurate. Edward, it should be noted, was still twitching upon the floor.” Deanna Raybourn, Silent in the Grave.
    I also love the opening lines of nearly every Mary Stewart.

    Reply
  46. “A gentleman was strolling down a side street in Paris, on his way back from the house of one Madame de Verchoureux. He walked mincingly, for the red heels of his shoes were very high. A long purple cloak, rose-lined, hung from his shoulders and was allowed to fall carelessly back from his dress, revealing a full-skirted coat of purple satin, heavily laced with gold; a waistcoat of flowered silk; faultless small clothes; and a lavish sprinkling of jewels on his cravat and breast. A three-cornered hat, point-edged, was set upon his powdered wig, and in his hand he carried a long beribboned cane.” — These Old Shades by Georgette Heyer
    I know it’s longer than one sentence — but did that lady know how to set a mood or what? 🙂

    Reply
  47. “A gentleman was strolling down a side street in Paris, on his way back from the house of one Madame de Verchoureux. He walked mincingly, for the red heels of his shoes were very high. A long purple cloak, rose-lined, hung from his shoulders and was allowed to fall carelessly back from his dress, revealing a full-skirted coat of purple satin, heavily laced with gold; a waistcoat of flowered silk; faultless small clothes; and a lavish sprinkling of jewels on his cravat and breast. A three-cornered hat, point-edged, was set upon his powdered wig, and in his hand he carried a long beribboned cane.” — These Old Shades by Georgette Heyer
    I know it’s longer than one sentence — but did that lady know how to set a mood or what? 🙂

    Reply
  48. “A gentleman was strolling down a side street in Paris, on his way back from the house of one Madame de Verchoureux. He walked mincingly, for the red heels of his shoes were very high. A long purple cloak, rose-lined, hung from his shoulders and was allowed to fall carelessly back from his dress, revealing a full-skirted coat of purple satin, heavily laced with gold; a waistcoat of flowered silk; faultless small clothes; and a lavish sprinkling of jewels on his cravat and breast. A three-cornered hat, point-edged, was set upon his powdered wig, and in his hand he carried a long beribboned cane.” — These Old Shades by Georgette Heyer
    I know it’s longer than one sentence — but did that lady know how to set a mood or what? 🙂

    Reply
  49. “A gentleman was strolling down a side street in Paris, on his way back from the house of one Madame de Verchoureux. He walked mincingly, for the red heels of his shoes were very high. A long purple cloak, rose-lined, hung from his shoulders and was allowed to fall carelessly back from his dress, revealing a full-skirted coat of purple satin, heavily laced with gold; a waistcoat of flowered silk; faultless small clothes; and a lavish sprinkling of jewels on his cravat and breast. A three-cornered hat, point-edged, was set upon his powdered wig, and in his hand he carried a long beribboned cane.” — These Old Shades by Georgette Heyer
    I know it’s longer than one sentence — but did that lady know how to set a mood or what? 🙂

    Reply
  50. “A gentleman was strolling down a side street in Paris, on his way back from the house of one Madame de Verchoureux. He walked mincingly, for the red heels of his shoes were very high. A long purple cloak, rose-lined, hung from his shoulders and was allowed to fall carelessly back from his dress, revealing a full-skirted coat of purple satin, heavily laced with gold; a waistcoat of flowered silk; faultless small clothes; and a lavish sprinkling of jewels on his cravat and breast. A three-cornered hat, point-edged, was set upon his powdered wig, and in his hand he carried a long beribboned cane.” — These Old Shades by Georgette Heyer
    I know it’s longer than one sentence — but did that lady know how to set a mood or what? 🙂

    Reply
  51. “Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun.”. – Douglas Adams, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

    Reply
  52. “Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun.”. – Douglas Adams, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

    Reply
  53. “Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun.”. – Douglas Adams, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

    Reply
  54. “Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun.”. – Douglas Adams, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

    Reply
  55. “Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun.”. – Douglas Adams, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

    Reply
  56. Several first lines that come to mind…
    “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” (Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities. “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice. “He was ugly, very ugly.” From Mary Jo’s novella, The Black Beast of Belleterre.
    “Sounds woke him – sounds that didn’t belong.” From my novel, Out of the Darkness. I loved your selections, Susan. My favorite from your selection would be the opening line from Little Women. I read the book so many times it’s imprinted in my brain. Thanks so much for a fun blog!

    Reply
  57. Several first lines that come to mind…
    “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” (Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities. “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice. “He was ugly, very ugly.” From Mary Jo’s novella, The Black Beast of Belleterre.
    “Sounds woke him – sounds that didn’t belong.” From my novel, Out of the Darkness. I loved your selections, Susan. My favorite from your selection would be the opening line from Little Women. I read the book so many times it’s imprinted in my brain. Thanks so much for a fun blog!

    Reply
  58. Several first lines that come to mind…
    “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” (Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities. “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice. “He was ugly, very ugly.” From Mary Jo’s novella, The Black Beast of Belleterre.
    “Sounds woke him – sounds that didn’t belong.” From my novel, Out of the Darkness. I loved your selections, Susan. My favorite from your selection would be the opening line from Little Women. I read the book so many times it’s imprinted in my brain. Thanks so much for a fun blog!

    Reply
  59. Several first lines that come to mind…
    “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” (Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities. “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice. “He was ugly, very ugly.” From Mary Jo’s novella, The Black Beast of Belleterre.
    “Sounds woke him – sounds that didn’t belong.” From my novel, Out of the Darkness. I loved your selections, Susan. My favorite from your selection would be the opening line from Little Women. I read the book so many times it’s imprinted in my brain. Thanks so much for a fun blog!

    Reply
  60. Several first lines that come to mind…
    “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” (Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities. “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice. “He was ugly, very ugly.” From Mary Jo’s novella, The Black Beast of Belleterre.
    “Sounds woke him – sounds that didn’t belong.” From my novel, Out of the Darkness. I loved your selections, Susan. My favorite from your selection would be the opening line from Little Women. I read the book so many times it’s imprinted in my brain. Thanks so much for a fun blog!

    Reply
  61. I’m astounded by how many of my favorites you’ve listed. I’ve always “collected” opening lines that I love. I think one master is Dick Francis — just pick a book, but my favorite is “In the Frame”:
    “I stood on the outside of disaster, looking in.”
    And then there’s the classic:
    “Scarlett O’Hara wasn’t beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm . . .”

    Reply
  62. I’m astounded by how many of my favorites you’ve listed. I’ve always “collected” opening lines that I love. I think one master is Dick Francis — just pick a book, but my favorite is “In the Frame”:
    “I stood on the outside of disaster, looking in.”
    And then there’s the classic:
    “Scarlett O’Hara wasn’t beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm . . .”

    Reply
  63. I’m astounded by how many of my favorites you’ve listed. I’ve always “collected” opening lines that I love. I think one master is Dick Francis — just pick a book, but my favorite is “In the Frame”:
    “I stood on the outside of disaster, looking in.”
    And then there’s the classic:
    “Scarlett O’Hara wasn’t beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm . . .”

    Reply
  64. I’m astounded by how many of my favorites you’ve listed. I’ve always “collected” opening lines that I love. I think one master is Dick Francis — just pick a book, but my favorite is “In the Frame”:
    “I stood on the outside of disaster, looking in.”
    And then there’s the classic:
    “Scarlett O’Hara wasn’t beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm . . .”

    Reply
  65. I’m astounded by how many of my favorites you’ve listed. I’ve always “collected” opening lines that I love. I think one master is Dick Francis — just pick a book, but my favorite is “In the Frame”:
    “I stood on the outside of disaster, looking in.”
    And then there’s the classic:
    “Scarlett O’Hara wasn’t beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm . . .”

    Reply
  66. Love this post! I also used to slog through books. I guess I felt guilty when I couldn’t finish someone hard work. But now I’m older, and have less time, and I have learned to live with my guilt.
    Anyway, here are some of my favorite first lines.
    “One Christmas was so much like another, in those years around the sea-town corner now and out of all sound except the distant speaking of the voices I sometimes hear a moment before sleep, that I can never remember whether it snowed for six days and six nights when I was twelve or whether it snowed for twelve days and twelve nights when I was six.” ― Dylan Thomas, A Child’s Christmas in Wales
    “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.” Daphne Du Maurier, Rebecca
    “It was 7 minutes after midnight. The dog was lying on the grass in the middle of the lawn in front of Mrs. Shears’s house.” Mark Haddon, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
    I also like the title of the Mark Haddon book, not sure if he’s responsible for it though.

    Reply
  67. Love this post! I also used to slog through books. I guess I felt guilty when I couldn’t finish someone hard work. But now I’m older, and have less time, and I have learned to live with my guilt.
    Anyway, here are some of my favorite first lines.
    “One Christmas was so much like another, in those years around the sea-town corner now and out of all sound except the distant speaking of the voices I sometimes hear a moment before sleep, that I can never remember whether it snowed for six days and six nights when I was twelve or whether it snowed for twelve days and twelve nights when I was six.” ― Dylan Thomas, A Child’s Christmas in Wales
    “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.” Daphne Du Maurier, Rebecca
    “It was 7 minutes after midnight. The dog was lying on the grass in the middle of the lawn in front of Mrs. Shears’s house.” Mark Haddon, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
    I also like the title of the Mark Haddon book, not sure if he’s responsible for it though.

    Reply
  68. Love this post! I also used to slog through books. I guess I felt guilty when I couldn’t finish someone hard work. But now I’m older, and have less time, and I have learned to live with my guilt.
    Anyway, here are some of my favorite first lines.
    “One Christmas was so much like another, in those years around the sea-town corner now and out of all sound except the distant speaking of the voices I sometimes hear a moment before sleep, that I can never remember whether it snowed for six days and six nights when I was twelve or whether it snowed for twelve days and twelve nights when I was six.” ― Dylan Thomas, A Child’s Christmas in Wales
    “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.” Daphne Du Maurier, Rebecca
    “It was 7 minutes after midnight. The dog was lying on the grass in the middle of the lawn in front of Mrs. Shears’s house.” Mark Haddon, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
    I also like the title of the Mark Haddon book, not sure if he’s responsible for it though.

    Reply
  69. Love this post! I also used to slog through books. I guess I felt guilty when I couldn’t finish someone hard work. But now I’m older, and have less time, and I have learned to live with my guilt.
    Anyway, here are some of my favorite first lines.
    “One Christmas was so much like another, in those years around the sea-town corner now and out of all sound except the distant speaking of the voices I sometimes hear a moment before sleep, that I can never remember whether it snowed for six days and six nights when I was twelve or whether it snowed for twelve days and twelve nights when I was six.” ― Dylan Thomas, A Child’s Christmas in Wales
    “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.” Daphne Du Maurier, Rebecca
    “It was 7 minutes after midnight. The dog was lying on the grass in the middle of the lawn in front of Mrs. Shears’s house.” Mark Haddon, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
    I also like the title of the Mark Haddon book, not sure if he’s responsible for it though.

    Reply
  70. Love this post! I also used to slog through books. I guess I felt guilty when I couldn’t finish someone hard work. But now I’m older, and have less time, and I have learned to live with my guilt.
    Anyway, here are some of my favorite first lines.
    “One Christmas was so much like another, in those years around the sea-town corner now and out of all sound except the distant speaking of the voices I sometimes hear a moment before sleep, that I can never remember whether it snowed for six days and six nights when I was twelve or whether it snowed for twelve days and twelve nights when I was six.” ― Dylan Thomas, A Child’s Christmas in Wales
    “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.” Daphne Du Maurier, Rebecca
    “It was 7 minutes after midnight. The dog was lying on the grass in the middle of the lawn in front of Mrs. Shears’s house.” Mark Haddon, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
    I also like the title of the Mark Haddon book, not sure if he’s responsible for it though.

    Reply
  71. i recognized many of your opening lines and many of the openings that have been quoted by others. But it isn’t the opening line as such that captures me. I’m not sure what does.
    As others have said, I no longer slog through books that don’t capture me, but I will give the first chapter or two a chance to grab me before I quit.
    And sometimes, it’s not the book at fault, it’s just that it doesn’t fit my mood that day.

    Reply
  72. i recognized many of your opening lines and many of the openings that have been quoted by others. But it isn’t the opening line as such that captures me. I’m not sure what does.
    As others have said, I no longer slog through books that don’t capture me, but I will give the first chapter or two a chance to grab me before I quit.
    And sometimes, it’s not the book at fault, it’s just that it doesn’t fit my mood that day.

    Reply
  73. i recognized many of your opening lines and many of the openings that have been quoted by others. But it isn’t the opening line as such that captures me. I’m not sure what does.
    As others have said, I no longer slog through books that don’t capture me, but I will give the first chapter or two a chance to grab me before I quit.
    And sometimes, it’s not the book at fault, it’s just that it doesn’t fit my mood that day.

    Reply
  74. i recognized many of your opening lines and many of the openings that have been quoted by others. But it isn’t the opening line as such that captures me. I’m not sure what does.
    As others have said, I no longer slog through books that don’t capture me, but I will give the first chapter or two a chance to grab me before I quit.
    And sometimes, it’s not the book at fault, it’s just that it doesn’t fit my mood that day.

    Reply
  75. i recognized many of your opening lines and many of the openings that have been quoted by others. But it isn’t the opening line as such that captures me. I’m not sure what does.
    As others have said, I no longer slog through books that don’t capture me, but I will give the first chapter or two a chance to grab me before I quit.
    And sometimes, it’s not the book at fault, it’s just that it doesn’t fit my mood that day.

    Reply
  76. Pride and Prejudice is the most famous one I like. I can’t actually think of any others at the moment.When posts like this come up I always go blank.
    Great post!!

    Reply
  77. Pride and Prejudice is the most famous one I like. I can’t actually think of any others at the moment.When posts like this come up I always go blank.
    Great post!!

    Reply
  78. Pride and Prejudice is the most famous one I like. I can’t actually think of any others at the moment.When posts like this come up I always go blank.
    Great post!!

    Reply
  79. Pride and Prejudice is the most famous one I like. I can’t actually think of any others at the moment.When posts like this come up I always go blank.
    Great post!!

    Reply
  80. Pride and Prejudice is the most famous one I like. I can’t actually think of any others at the moment.When posts like this come up I always go blank.
    Great post!!

    Reply
  81. 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, we had everything before us, we …Charles Dickens – A Tale of Two cities
    I like this because to me it is my life.
    I do want to note that most of the lines which y’all have given are also ones I enjoy. But, the Dickens line is what I would want if I were to have a tombstone.
    And no, I no longer will go forward in a book if it does not get me in the first 10 to 20 %. Life is short, and there are so many books I will enjoy. Also, it is not fair to an author. If I do not fall in love with a book, it is a good bet that I will not want to read something else by that same author.

    Reply
  82. 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, we had everything before us, we …Charles Dickens – A Tale of Two cities
    I like this because to me it is my life.
    I do want to note that most of the lines which y’all have given are also ones I enjoy. But, the Dickens line is what I would want if I were to have a tombstone.
    And no, I no longer will go forward in a book if it does not get me in the first 10 to 20 %. Life is short, and there are so many books I will enjoy. Also, it is not fair to an author. If I do not fall in love with a book, it is a good bet that I will not want to read something else by that same author.

    Reply
  83. 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, we had everything before us, we …Charles Dickens – A Tale of Two cities
    I like this because to me it is my life.
    I do want to note that most of the lines which y’all have given are also ones I enjoy. But, the Dickens line is what I would want if I were to have a tombstone.
    And no, I no longer will go forward in a book if it does not get me in the first 10 to 20 %. Life is short, and there are so many books I will enjoy. Also, it is not fair to an author. If I do not fall in love with a book, it is a good bet that I will not want to read something else by that same author.

    Reply
  84. 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, we had everything before us, we …Charles Dickens – A Tale of Two cities
    I like this because to me it is my life.
    I do want to note that most of the lines which y’all have given are also ones I enjoy. But, the Dickens line is what I would want if I were to have a tombstone.
    And no, I no longer will go forward in a book if it does not get me in the first 10 to 20 %. Life is short, and there are so many books I will enjoy. Also, it is not fair to an author. If I do not fall in love with a book, it is a good bet that I will not want to read something else by that same author.

    Reply
  85. 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, we had everything before us, we …Charles Dickens – A Tale of Two cities
    I like this because to me it is my life.
    I do want to note that most of the lines which y’all have given are also ones I enjoy. But, the Dickens line is what I would want if I were to have a tombstone.
    And no, I no longer will go forward in a book if it does not get me in the first 10 to 20 %. Life is short, and there are so many books I will enjoy. Also, it is not fair to an author. If I do not fall in love with a book, it is a good bet that I will not want to read something else by that same author.

    Reply
  86. Then there’s George Orwell’s 1984: “It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.” Or Diana Norman’s The Vizard Mask: “Penitence Hurd and the Plague arrived in London on the same day.” Clocks striking 13? The plague? I think both draw you in immediately and you know there is an exciting read ahead.

    Reply
  87. Then there’s George Orwell’s 1984: “It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.” Or Diana Norman’s The Vizard Mask: “Penitence Hurd and the Plague arrived in London on the same day.” Clocks striking 13? The plague? I think both draw you in immediately and you know there is an exciting read ahead.

    Reply
  88. Then there’s George Orwell’s 1984: “It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.” Or Diana Norman’s The Vizard Mask: “Penitence Hurd and the Plague arrived in London on the same day.” Clocks striking 13? The plague? I think both draw you in immediately and you know there is an exciting read ahead.

    Reply
  89. Then there’s George Orwell’s 1984: “It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.” Or Diana Norman’s The Vizard Mask: “Penitence Hurd and the Plague arrived in London on the same day.” Clocks striking 13? The plague? I think both draw you in immediately and you know there is an exciting read ahead.

    Reply
  90. Then there’s George Orwell’s 1984: “It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.” Or Diana Norman’s The Vizard Mask: “Penitence Hurd and the Plague arrived in London on the same day.” Clocks striking 13? The plague? I think both draw you in immediately and you know there is an exciting read ahead.

    Reply
  91. The first book in the Lady Julia novels by Deanna Raybourn, “Silent in the Grave” has a couple of lines at the opening that pulled me into this book and the others that followed:
    “To say I met Nicholas Brisbane over my husband’s dead body is not entirely accurate. Edward, it should be noted, was still twitching on the floor.”

    Reply
  92. The first book in the Lady Julia novels by Deanna Raybourn, “Silent in the Grave” has a couple of lines at the opening that pulled me into this book and the others that followed:
    “To say I met Nicholas Brisbane over my husband’s dead body is not entirely accurate. Edward, it should be noted, was still twitching on the floor.”

    Reply
  93. The first book in the Lady Julia novels by Deanna Raybourn, “Silent in the Grave” has a couple of lines at the opening that pulled me into this book and the others that followed:
    “To say I met Nicholas Brisbane over my husband’s dead body is not entirely accurate. Edward, it should be noted, was still twitching on the floor.”

    Reply
  94. The first book in the Lady Julia novels by Deanna Raybourn, “Silent in the Grave” has a couple of lines at the opening that pulled me into this book and the others that followed:
    “To say I met Nicholas Brisbane over my husband’s dead body is not entirely accurate. Edward, it should be noted, was still twitching on the floor.”

    Reply
  95. The first book in the Lady Julia novels by Deanna Raybourn, “Silent in the Grave” has a couple of lines at the opening that pulled me into this book and the others that followed:
    “To say I met Nicholas Brisbane over my husband’s dead body is not entirely accurate. Edward, it should be noted, was still twitching on the floor.”

    Reply
  96. I Capture the Castle is one of my favorites, Jenny! I reread it every few years. And what a great line from Dorothy Dunnett – makes me want to go back and read the book again!

    Reply
  97. I Capture the Castle is one of my favorites, Jenny! I reread it every few years. And what a great line from Dorothy Dunnett – makes me want to go back and read the book again!

    Reply
  98. I Capture the Castle is one of my favorites, Jenny! I reread it every few years. And what a great line from Dorothy Dunnett – makes me want to go back and read the book again!

    Reply
  99. I Capture the Castle is one of my favorites, Jenny! I reread it every few years. And what a great line from Dorothy Dunnett – makes me want to go back and read the book again!

    Reply
  100. I Capture the Castle is one of my favorites, Jenny! I reread it every few years. And what a great line from Dorothy Dunnett – makes me want to go back and read the book again!

    Reply
  101. Haha, Kareni! That is definitely one of my favorite opening lines! It was a great read, though I have to say, one of the few instances where I liked the movie even more than the book!

    Reply
  102. Haha, Kareni! That is definitely one of my favorite opening lines! It was a great read, though I have to say, one of the few instances where I liked the movie even more than the book!

    Reply
  103. Haha, Kareni! That is definitely one of my favorite opening lines! It was a great read, though I have to say, one of the few instances where I liked the movie even more than the book!

    Reply
  104. Haha, Kareni! That is definitely one of my favorite opening lines! It was a great read, though I have to say, one of the few instances where I liked the movie even more than the book!

    Reply
  105. Haha, Kareni! That is definitely one of my favorite opening lines! It was a great read, though I have to say, one of the few instances where I liked the movie even more than the book!

    Reply
  106. Theo, I’m a huge fan of Lord Peter, I’ve read them all and some more than once. Jaws – I remember reading it in college and not sleeping for days. I’ll have to look at that first para!

    Reply
  107. Theo, I’m a huge fan of Lord Peter, I’ve read them all and some more than once. Jaws – I remember reading it in college and not sleeping for days. I’ll have to look at that first para!

    Reply
  108. Theo, I’m a huge fan of Lord Peter, I’ve read them all and some more than once. Jaws – I remember reading it in college and not sleeping for days. I’ll have to look at that first para!

    Reply
  109. Theo, I’m a huge fan of Lord Peter, I’ve read them all and some more than once. Jaws – I remember reading it in college and not sleeping for days. I’ll have to look at that first para!

    Reply
  110. Theo, I’m a huge fan of Lord Peter, I’ve read them all and some more than once. Jaws – I remember reading it in college and not sleeping for days. I’ll have to look at that first para!

    Reply
  111. Oh yes, Tempest, I remember being so taken with that great first line! And of course every Mary Stewart. I could have made a list of only Mary Stewarts! 🙂

    Reply
  112. Oh yes, Tempest, I remember being so taken with that great first line! And of course every Mary Stewart. I could have made a list of only Mary Stewarts! 🙂

    Reply
  113. Oh yes, Tempest, I remember being so taken with that great first line! And of course every Mary Stewart. I could have made a list of only Mary Stewarts! 🙂

    Reply
  114. Oh yes, Tempest, I remember being so taken with that great first line! And of course every Mary Stewart. I could have made a list of only Mary Stewarts! 🙂

    Reply
  115. Oh yes, Tempest, I remember being so taken with that great first line! And of course every Mary Stewart. I could have made a list of only Mary Stewarts! 🙂

    Reply
  116. Eugenia, Dick Francis was such a master. Great choice! And of course, GWTW – one of the best! I read it five times in high school. I would finish it, give it a couple of weeks, and pick it up again!

    Reply
  117. Eugenia, Dick Francis was such a master. Great choice! And of course, GWTW – one of the best! I read it five times in high school. I would finish it, give it a couple of weeks, and pick it up again!

    Reply
  118. Eugenia, Dick Francis was such a master. Great choice! And of course, GWTW – one of the best! I read it five times in high school. I would finish it, give it a couple of weeks, and pick it up again!

    Reply
  119. Eugenia, Dick Francis was such a master. Great choice! And of course, GWTW – one of the best! I read it five times in high school. I would finish it, give it a couple of weeks, and pick it up again!

    Reply
  120. Eugenia, Dick Francis was such a master. Great choice! And of course, GWTW – one of the best! I read it five times in high school. I would finish it, give it a couple of weeks, and pick it up again!

    Reply
  121. A tombstone quote, interesting thought! And so true, I just don’t spend the time with a book that I used to. If it doesn’t work, I move on pretty quickly. Just not enough reading time anymore. I wish I had more time to give to books. So I’ll go back, often give a book another chance, another mood, another day.

    Reply
  122. A tombstone quote, interesting thought! And so true, I just don’t spend the time with a book that I used to. If it doesn’t work, I move on pretty quickly. Just not enough reading time anymore. I wish I had more time to give to books. So I’ll go back, often give a book another chance, another mood, another day.

    Reply
  123. A tombstone quote, interesting thought! And so true, I just don’t spend the time with a book that I used to. If it doesn’t work, I move on pretty quickly. Just not enough reading time anymore. I wish I had more time to give to books. So I’ll go back, often give a book another chance, another mood, another day.

    Reply
  124. A tombstone quote, interesting thought! And so true, I just don’t spend the time with a book that I used to. If it doesn’t work, I move on pretty quickly. Just not enough reading time anymore. I wish I had more time to give to books. So I’ll go back, often give a book another chance, another mood, another day.

    Reply
  125. A tombstone quote, interesting thought! And so true, I just don’t spend the time with a book that I used to. If it doesn’t work, I move on pretty quickly. Just not enough reading time anymore. I wish I had more time to give to books. So I’ll go back, often give a book another chance, another mood, another day.

    Reply
  126. It’s well worth the search online. The plague is only the beginning of Penitence’s adventures, as she finds love, loses love, and finds it again against the backdrop of Restoration England.

    Reply
  127. It’s well worth the search online. The plague is only the beginning of Penitence’s adventures, as she finds love, loses love, and finds it again against the backdrop of Restoration England.

    Reply
  128. It’s well worth the search online. The plague is only the beginning of Penitence’s adventures, as she finds love, loses love, and finds it again against the backdrop of Restoration England.

    Reply
  129. It’s well worth the search online. The plague is only the beginning of Penitence’s adventures, as she finds love, loses love, and finds it again against the backdrop of Restoration England.

    Reply
  130. It’s well worth the search online. The plague is only the beginning of Penitence’s adventures, as she finds love, loses love, and finds it again against the backdrop of Restoration England.

    Reply
  131. I love the first line of “The Rebel Pirate” by Donna Thorland, which is set during the American Revolution.
    “The gold was Spanish, the chest was French, the ship was American, and the captain was dead.”
    A great, swashbuckling romance adventure!

    Reply
  132. I love the first line of “The Rebel Pirate” by Donna Thorland, which is set during the American Revolution.
    “The gold was Spanish, the chest was French, the ship was American, and the captain was dead.”
    A great, swashbuckling romance adventure!

    Reply
  133. I love the first line of “The Rebel Pirate” by Donna Thorland, which is set during the American Revolution.
    “The gold was Spanish, the chest was French, the ship was American, and the captain was dead.”
    A great, swashbuckling romance adventure!

    Reply
  134. I love the first line of “The Rebel Pirate” by Donna Thorland, which is set during the American Revolution.
    “The gold was Spanish, the chest was French, the ship was American, and the captain was dead.”
    A great, swashbuckling romance adventure!

    Reply
  135. I love the first line of “The Rebel Pirate” by Donna Thorland, which is set during the American Revolution.
    “The gold was Spanish, the chest was French, the ship was American, and the captain was dead.”
    A great, swashbuckling romance adventure!

    Reply
  136. This one is a favorite of both my daughter and me:
    “There once was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.”
    – C.S. Lewis, “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader”

    Reply
  137. This one is a favorite of both my daughter and me:
    “There once was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.”
    – C.S. Lewis, “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader”

    Reply
  138. This one is a favorite of both my daughter and me:
    “There once was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.”
    – C.S. Lewis, “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader”

    Reply
  139. This one is a favorite of both my daughter and me:
    “There once was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.”
    – C.S. Lewis, “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader”

    Reply
  140. This one is a favorite of both my daughter and me:
    “There once was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.”
    – C.S. Lewis, “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader”

    Reply
  141. I didn’t see anyone point out that “It was a dark and stormy night” didn’t originate with Madeline L’Engle but was from Edward Bulwer-Lytton (if someone did, forgive me for overlooking it). It’s why there is the eponymous Bulwer-Lytton writing contest where the award is given to the contestant who comes up with the worst opening line. Of course, part of that is because B-L didn’t end the sentence at “stormy night” but went on (and on): “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 housetops and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.”

    Reply
  142. I didn’t see anyone point out that “It was a dark and stormy night” didn’t originate with Madeline L’Engle but was from Edward Bulwer-Lytton (if someone did, forgive me for overlooking it). It’s why there is the eponymous Bulwer-Lytton writing contest where the award is given to the contestant who comes up with the worst opening line. Of course, part of that is because B-L didn’t end the sentence at “stormy night” but went on (and on): “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 housetops and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.”

    Reply
  143. I didn’t see anyone point out that “It was a dark and stormy night” didn’t originate with Madeline L’Engle but was from Edward Bulwer-Lytton (if someone did, forgive me for overlooking it). It’s why there is the eponymous Bulwer-Lytton writing contest where the award is given to the contestant who comes up with the worst opening line. Of course, part of that is because B-L didn’t end the sentence at “stormy night” but went on (and on): “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 housetops and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.”

    Reply
  144. I didn’t see anyone point out that “It was a dark and stormy night” didn’t originate with Madeline L’Engle but was from Edward Bulwer-Lytton (if someone did, forgive me for overlooking it). It’s why there is the eponymous Bulwer-Lytton writing contest where the award is given to the contestant who comes up with the worst opening line. Of course, part of that is because B-L didn’t end the sentence at “stormy night” but went on (and on): “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 housetops and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.”

    Reply
  145. I didn’t see anyone point out that “It was a dark and stormy night” didn’t originate with Madeline L’Engle but was from Edward Bulwer-Lytton (if someone did, forgive me for overlooking it). It’s why there is the eponymous Bulwer-Lytton writing contest where the award is given to the contestant who comes up with the worst opening line. Of course, part of that is because B-L didn’t end the sentence at “stormy night” but went on (and on): “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 housetops and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.”

    Reply
  146. I also used to slog through reading any book that I started. Like you I don’t anymore.
    That 1st line better be gripping and catch my attention.
    Thank you for the article.

    Reply
  147. I also used to slog through reading any book that I started. Like you I don’t anymore.
    That 1st line better be gripping and catch my attention.
    Thank you for the article.

    Reply
  148. I also used to slog through reading any book that I started. Like you I don’t anymore.
    That 1st line better be gripping and catch my attention.
    Thank you for the article.

    Reply
  149. I also used to slog through reading any book that I started. Like you I don’t anymore.
    That 1st line better be gripping and catch my attention.
    Thank you for the article.

    Reply
  150. I also used to slog through reading any book that I started. Like you I don’t anymore.
    That 1st line better be gripping and catch my attention.
    Thank you for the article.

    Reply
  151. In HR land, this is one of my favourites:
    “She was willing to die, of course, but she had not planned to do it so soon, or in such a prolonged and uncomfortable fashion, or at the hands of her own countrymen.”
    The Spymaster’s Lady – Joanna Bourne

    Reply
  152. In HR land, this is one of my favourites:
    “She was willing to die, of course, but she had not planned to do it so soon, or in such a prolonged and uncomfortable fashion, or at the hands of her own countrymen.”
    The Spymaster’s Lady – Joanna Bourne

    Reply
  153. In HR land, this is one of my favourites:
    “She was willing to die, of course, but she had not planned to do it so soon, or in such a prolonged and uncomfortable fashion, or at the hands of her own countrymen.”
    The Spymaster’s Lady – Joanna Bourne

    Reply
  154. In HR land, this is one of my favourites:
    “She was willing to die, of course, but she had not planned to do it so soon, or in such a prolonged and uncomfortable fashion, or at the hands of her own countrymen.”
    The Spymaster’s Lady – Joanna Bourne

    Reply
  155. In HR land, this is one of my favourites:
    “She was willing to die, of course, but she had not planned to do it so soon, or in such a prolonged and uncomfortable fashion, or at the hands of her own countrymen.”
    The Spymaster’s Lady – Joanna Bourne

    Reply

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