Thursday, July 24, 2008

Booking Through Thursday: Beginnings

What are your favourite first sentences from books? Is there a book that you liked specially because of its first sentence? Or a book, perhaps that you didn’t like but still remember simply because of the first line?

My favorites are most likely the favorites of everyone else... you know... the "famous" first lines:

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...." (A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens)

"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)

"Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again" (Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier)

And a couple less well-known:

"So, there I was, tied to an altar made from out-dated encyclopedias, about to get sacrificed to the dark powers by a cult of evil Librarians." (Alcatraz vs. The Evil Librarians, Brandon Sanderson)

"First the colors. Then the humans. That's usually how I see things. Or at least, how I try." (The Book Thief, Markus Zusak.... technically not a sentence, but a paragraph I guess... )

Though I love first sentences and am fascinated by them, they will not make or break a book for me... that's for sure.

Raidergirl listed a bunch of first line quizzes on her post... go check those out for fun when you feel the mood!


  1. I am so bad about remembering things like this. I will have to look through my reading journal tonight and see if any stand out. Like you said, a first sentence will not make a break for me--although they can sometimes catch my attention quicker than others.

  2. Hey, a fellow Sanderson fan - yeah!

    And I think you listed ALL of my favorite first lines ... are you reading my mind?! ~LOL~

  3. The first line of Rebecca is what came immediately to my mind too.

    I nominated you for an award on my blog!

  4. Without a doubt, the first line from P&P is and probably always will be my favorite first line. I still get thrills when I read it.


  5. Your memory is better than mine!

  6. The first line from the The Book Thief was amazing, and it just gets better, right to the last line which blew me away!

  7. "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times" (Tale of Two Cities)...I remember this line not so much because it is a classic, but because it will forever be associated with my English class in high school that was a horrible time for me...It was the worst of times...

    That whole first paragraph of that novel gives me nightmares..

    Otherwise, I can recite the soliloquy from Hamlet.

  8. Literary Feline: I don't remember them very well either... I felt like going through all my books at hand and seeing what their first lines were!

    Heather: Yes... a Sanderson fan! Recently, but a fan nontheless! I've got both Elantris and Mistborn 2 dying for me to read them soon.

    Amy: An award? I guess I better go see what that's about! Thanks!

    Bluestocking Society: Just mentioning the first line of P and P makes me want to read the whole thing again!

    Smiling Sal: As I said, only the famous ones really came to mind... I sure I have many other favorites that I couldn't remember!

    Confuzzled and Zombie: Yes, yes, yes on the Book Thief. Would Markus Zusak PLEASE hurry up and write us another book! PLEASE!!!

    Serena: Funny you have nightmares from that book! I read it with my 9th grade English class and I remember thinking "good thing we are reading this here 'cause otherwise I wouldn't understand one thing!" But I still loved it. Perhaps because we watched the movie and I fell in love with the guy playing Sydney Carton. Wish I could find that thing and watch it again.

    THANKS everyone for the fun comments!



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