A Library of First Lines

LitLines has produced a top one hundred list of their favorite first lines. Most memorable and my wee mind is in most accord with:

8. It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. —George Orwell, 1984 (1949)

15. The sun shone, having no alternative, on the nothing new. —Samuel Beckett, Murphy (1938)

18. This is the saddest story I have ever heard. —Ford Madox Ford, The Good Soldier (1915)

24. 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. —Paul Auster, City of Glass (1985)

30. The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel. —William Gibson, Neuromancer (1984)

I'll stop now lest I reproduce the entire list. But I would add one that Jon and I discovered last year.

"To the bemusement of the tourists and a third grade class shepherded by a portly teacher, the woman crouched naked near the fourteen-foot mammoth and urinated. Her hands gripped the kinked-wire fence encircling the vast Lake Pit, the La Brea Tar Pits’ main attraction. Her face was smooth and unlined; she could have still been a teenager."

- The Program, Gregg Hurwitz


Graham Powell said...

Let's not forget a recent Richard Stark novel: "When the phone rang Parker was in the garage, killing a man."

Anonymous said...

One of my favorites..."It was a hell of a night to throw away a baby." Julia Spencer Fleming's "In the Bleak Midwinter."

Michael said...

"It was the day my grandmother exploded." - The Crow Road, by Iain Banks.