24 August 2012

Best First Lines in Books

Lots of books start with great - and famous - first lines. Here is a list of the best first lines in books (in no order). Many of these books are also on my list of the best classic books.

- "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 by Jane Austen - Pride and Prejudice quotes

- "Call me Ishmael." - Moby Dick by Herman Melville

- "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." - Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

- "It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen." - Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell - Nineteen Eighty-Four quotes

- "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." - A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

- "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." - The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger

- "All this happened, more or less." - Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut - Slaughterhouse-Five quotes

- "The human race, to which so many of my readers belong, has been playing at children's games from the beginning, and will probably do it till the end, which is a nuisance for the few people who grow up." - The Napoleon of Notting Hill by GK Chesterton

- "In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I've been turning over in my mind ever since." - The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

- "As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic vermin." - The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

- "Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the riverbank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, ‘and what is the use of a book’, thought Alice, ‘without pictures or conversation?’" - Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

- "It was a pleasure to burn." - Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury - Fahrenheit 451 quotes

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