View Full Version : The 100 best opening lines in literature

06-02-2006, 12:16:30

Rather US-biased, and filled with some that are merely famous rather than good, e.g. No. 1. but still a good read.

06-02-2006, 12:25:21
Number two should be one imo.

06-02-2006, 19:54:02
Actually, the line from Moby Dick is the first that occured to me, the second was the tale of two cities.

06-02-2006, 20:06:51
same here

Lazarus and the Gimp
06-02-2006, 20:59:48
Number 14 is my favourite. It's brilliant book.

Lazarus and the Gimp
06-02-2006, 21:03:41
No! It's not my favourite! This is!

On my naming day when I come 12 I gone front spear and kilt a wyld boar he parbly ben the las wyld pig on the Bundel Downs any how there hadnt ben none for a long time befor him nor I aint looking to see none agen. —Russell Hoban, Riddley Walker (1980)

06-02-2006, 21:45:48
It was the day my grandmother exploded. —Iain M. Banks, The Crow Road (1992)

was the second one that came to mind (behind the tale of two cities)

07-02-2006, 09:10:44
i'm a big fan of:

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

07-02-2006, 20:31:33
"Psychics can see the color of time it's blue."

Doesn't that need some punctuation somewhere?

07-02-2006, 21:07:15
I can still remember how this sentence grabbed me.
"In the week before their departure to Arrakis, when all the final scurrying about had reached a nearly unbearable frenzy, an old crone came to visit the mother of the boy, Paul."

08-02-2006, 08:58:59
Originally posted by Drekkus
"Psychics can see the color of time it's blue."

Doesn't that need some punctuation somewhere?

yes, so either the article has misplaced it or the author purposely omitted it for stylistic purposes

08-02-2006, 09:05:44
The first line of my favourite book is "It was so quiet, one of the killers would later say, you could almost hear the sound of ice rattling in cocktail shakers in the homes way down the canyon.", but I don't know what my favourite first line is. It's probably from something pretty unremarkable though.

09-02-2006, 09:06:06
I was all prepared to to say - "they should have had 'It was the day my grandmother exploded'" and there it was!

Lazarus and the Gimp
09-02-2006, 16:59:04
Originally posted by King_Ghidra
i'm a big fan of:

One of my favourites too. "Neuromancer" is great, but I've hated every other Gibson book I've read.

self biased
10-02-2006, 15:37:05
i'm surprised to not see any heinelin or asimov in there.

10-02-2006, 16:13:25
are you? why, are you autistic? It's the American Book Review not the American Robot and Space Shit Review.

anyway, hit me up with some great opening lines from asimov or heinlein and i'll eat my words

10-02-2006, 16:24:36
Wow, K_G is channeling Novacane.

I just started a Heinlein and the opening line was along the lines of

"I woke up in bed with a cat and a man; the man was a stranger, the cat was not."

Or something very similar. I don't have it with me. Heinlein generally is excellent but I can't think of any classic top 100 opening lines.

Nills Lagerbaak
10-02-2006, 16:26:22
:lol: Stranger in what way eh??