10 super awesome first lines

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single book in possession of a fantastic plot, must be in want of a good first sentence. Otherwise, who would want to keep reading?


"Of all the things that drive men to sea, the most common disaster, I've come to learn, is women"

I,Claudius by Robert Graves

"Sometime during your life—in fact, very soon—you may find yourself reading a book, and you may notice that a book's first sentence can often tell you what sort of story your book contains."

The Miserable Mill by Lemony Snicket


"Justice?—You get justice in the next world, in this world you have the law."

Riddley Walker by Russell Hoban

"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."

City of Glass by Karasik Paul

"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 J.D Salinger

"The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there".

The Go-Between by L.P Hartley

"It was love at first sight."

Catch-22 by Joseph Keller


"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

"I write this sitting in the kitchen sink."

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

"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 had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way—in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only"


A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

"He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad."

Second skin by John Hawkes


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