Best First Lines

Description
Novels that have excellent or memorable first lines. Started from American Book Review's 100 Best First Lines from Novels (http://americanbookreview.org/100bestlines.asp)
Membres
7 membres participants
1
73,999 membres
1,286 critiques
½ 4.4
5 utilisateurs
Aquila, merrystar, aethercowboy, ahef1963, ManWithAnAgenda
Explications
aethercowboy: It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.
2
22,814 membres
231 critiques
4
6 utilisateurs
Aquila, hipdeep, merrystar, aethercowboy, ahef1963, ManWithAnAgenda
Explications
aethercowboy: There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it
3
86,497 membres
1,135 critiques
½ 4.3
4 utilisateurs
Aquila, hipdeep, merrystar, ahef1963
Explications
hipdeep: In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.
4
8,717 membres
285 critiques
4.1
5 utilisateurs
Aquila, merrystar, aethercowboy, ahef1963, ManWithAnAgenda
Explications
aethercowboy: I write this sitting in the kitchen sink.
5
75,669 membres
1,200 critiques
4.2
5 utilisateurs
Aquila, hipdeep, aethercowboy, ahef1963, ManWithAnAgenda
Explications
aethercowboy: It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.
6
33,988 membres
433 critiques
3.9
5 utilisateurs
Aquila, hipdeep, merrystar, aethercowboy, ahef1963
Explications
aethercowboy: 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.
7
49,320 membres
932 critiques
4
5 utilisateurs
hipdeep, merrystar, aethercowboy, ahef1963, ManWithAnAgenda
Explications
aethercowboy: It was a pleasure to burn.
8
23,374 membres
512 critiques
½ 4.3
4 utilisateurs
Aquila, hipdeep, merrystar, ahef1963
Explications
hipdeep: This is my favorite book in all the world, though I've never read it.
9
22,063 membres
459 critiques
4.1
3 utilisateurs
hipdeep, merrystar, ahef1963
Explications
hipdeep: Marley was dead, to begin with.
10
40,219 membres
500 critiques
3.9
4 utilisateurs
hipdeep, aethercowboy, ahef1963, ManWithAnAgenda
Explications
aethercowboy: You don't know about me without you have read a book by the name of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; but that ain't no matter.
11
41,380 membres
658 critiques
4.1
4 utilisateurs
hipdeep, aethercowboy, ahef1963, ManWithAnAgenda
Explications
aethercowboy: All this happened, more or less.
12
18,944 membres
566 critiques
4.2
3 utilisateurs
Aquila, hipdeep, ahef1963
Explications
hipdeep: Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.
13
17,560 membres
324 critiques
4
4 utilisateurs
hipdeep, aethercowboy, ahef1963, ManWithAnAgenda
Explications
aethercowboy: Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board.
14
41,801 membres
646 critiques
4.2
3 utilisateurs
hipdeep, aethercowboy, ahef1963
Explications
aethercowboy: Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.
15
35,663 membres
598 critiques
4.1
3 utilisateurs
Aquila, hipdeep, aethercowboy
Explications
aethercowboy: Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.
16
32,490 membres
506 critiques
3.8
2 utilisateurs
aethercowboy, ManWithAnAgenda
Explications
aethercowboy: Call me Ishmael.
17
8,305 membres
395 critiques
3.9
2 utilisateurs
ahef1963, ManWithAnAgenda
Explications
ManWithAnAgenda: No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream.
18
64,997 membres
1,028 critiques
3.8
3 utilisateurs
aethercowboy, ahef1963, ManWithAnAgenda
Explications
aethercowboy: 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.
19
26,038 membres
463 critiques
4
3 utilisateurs
aethercowboy, ahef1963, ManWithAnAgenda
Explications
aethercowboy: It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn't know what I was doing in New York.
20
7,290 membres
108 critiques
3.9
3 utilisateurs
aethercowboy, ahef1963, ManWithAnAgenda
Explications
aethercowboy: I wish either my father or my mother, or indeed both of them, as they were in duty both equally bound to it, had minded what they were about when they begot me; had they duly considered how much depended upon what they were then doing;—that not only the production of a rational Being was concerned in it, but that possibly the happy formation and temperature of his body, perhaps his genius and the very cast of his mind;—and, for aught they knew to the contrary, even the fortunes of his whole house might take their turn from the humours and dispositions which were then uppermost:—Had they duly weighed and considered all this, and proceeded accordingly,—I am verily persuaded I should have made a quite different figure in the world, from that, in which the reader is likely to see me.
21
14,459 membres
354 critiques
4
2 utilisateurs
Aquila, hipdeep
Explications
Aquila: I’ll make my report as if I told a story, for I was taught as a child on my homeworld that Truth is a matter of the imagination.
22
66,472 membres
1,083 critiques
3.9
3 utilisateurs
aethercowboy, ahef1963, ManWithAnAgenda
Explications
aethercowboy: In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I've been turning over in my mind ever since.
23
19,970 membres
199 critiques
½ 3.7
3 utilisateurs
aethercowboy, ahef1963, ManWithAnAgenda
Explications
aethercowboy: Once upon a time and a very good time it was there was a moocow coming down along the road and this moocow that was coming down along the road met a nicens little boy named baby tuckoo.
24
19,415 membres
248 critiques
4.1
3 utilisateurs
hipdeep, aethercowboy, ahef1963
Explications
aethercowboy: Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show.
25
28,146 membres
404 critiques
4.1
3 utilisateurs
hipdeep, aethercowboy, ManWithAnAgenda
Explications
aethercowboy: Somewhere in la Mancha, in a place whose name I do not care to remember, a gentleman lived not long ago, one of those who has a lance and ancient shield on a shelf and keeps a skinny nag and a greyhound for racing.
26
21,135 membres
389 critiques
3.9
3 utilisateurs
aethercowboy, ahef1963, ManWithAnAgenda
Explications
aethercowboy: 124 was spiteful.
27
16,828 membres
300 critiques
3.9
3 utilisateurs
Aquila, hipdeep, ahef1963
Explications
Aquila: All children, except one, grow up.
28
33,108 membres
472 critiques
3.9
3 utilisateurs
aethercowboy, ahef1963, ManWithAnAgenda
Explications
aethercowboy: Mother died today.
29
4,510 membres
97 critiques
3.8
2 utilisateurs
hipdeep, aethercowboy
Explications
aethercowboy: This is the saddest story I have ever heard.
30
7,854 membres
234 critiques
½ 3.6
3 utilisateurs
aethercowboy, ahef1963, ManWithAnAgenda
Explications
aethercowboy: They say when trouble comes close ranks, and so the white people did.
31
8,983 membres
203 critiques
½ 3.6
3 utilisateurs
Aquila, aethercowboy, ahef1963
Explications
aethercowboy: I had the story, bit by bit, from various people, and, as generally happens in such cases, each time it was a different story.
32
10,142 membres
228 critiques
4
3 utilisateurs
aethercowboy, ahef1963, ManWithAnAgenda
Explications
aethercowboy: In the town, there were two mutes and they were always together.
33
5,549 membres
103 critiques
4.1
2 utilisateurs
ahef1963, ManWithAnAgenda
Explications
ManWithAnAgenda: My wound is geography.
34
18,248 membres
320 critiques
4.1
3 utilisateurs
aethercowboy, ahef1963, ManWithAnAgenda
Explications
aethercowboy: You better not never tell nobody but God.
35
19,023 membres
308 critiques
3.9
3 utilisateurs
aethercowboy, ahef1963, ManWithAnAgenda
Explications
aethercowboy: Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself.
36
5,833 membres
111 critiques
4.1
3 utilisateurs
aethercowboy, ahef1963, ManWithAnAgenda
Explications
aethercowboy: I have never begun a novel with more misgiving.
37
6,155 membres
164 critiques
4
3 utilisateurs
hipdeep, aethercowboy, ManWithAnAgenda
Explications
aethercowboy: A story has no beginning or end; arbitrarily one chooses that moment of experience from which to look back or from which to look ahead.
38
22,661 membres
302 critiques
½ 3.6
3 utilisateurs
aethercowboy, ahef1963, ManWithAnAgenda
Explications
aethercowboy: I was born in the Year 1632, in the City of York, of a good Family, tho' not of that Country, my Father being a Foreigner of Bremen, who settled first at Hull; He got a good Estate by Merchandise, and leaving off his Trade, lived afterward at York, from whence he had married my Mother, whose Relations were named Robinson, a very good Family in that Country, and from whom I was called Robinson Kreutznaer; but by the usual Corruption of Words in England, we are now called, nay we call our selves, and write our Name Crusoe, and so my Companions always call'd me.
39
16,526 membres
312 critiques
4.2
3 utilisateurs
aethercowboy, ahef1963, ManWithAnAgenda
Explications
aethercowboy: Miss Brooke had that kind of beauty which seems to be thrown into relief by poor dress.
40
11,282 membres
131 critiques
3.8
3 utilisateurs
aethercowboy, ahef1963, ManWithAnAgenda
Explications
aethercowboy: "To be born again," sang Gibreel Farishta tumbling from the heavens, "first you have to die."
41
21,795 membres
352 critiques
3.9
2 utilisateurs
hipdeep, aethercowboy
Explications
aethercowboy: The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.
42
1,650 membres
49 critiques
4
2 utilisateurs
hipdeep, aethercowboy
Explications
aethercowboy: He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad.
43
29,914 membres
531 critiques
4.1
2 utilisateurs
aethercowboy, ManWithAnAgenda
Explications
aethercowboy: Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins.
44
25,643 membres
400 critiques
4
2 utilisateurs
Aquila, ahef1963
Explications
Aquila: "Christmas won't be Christmas without any presents."
45
712 membres
30 critiques
½ 3.4
2 utilisateurs
aethercowboy, ManWithAnAgenda
Explications
aethercowboy: The Miss Lonelyhearts of the New York Post-Dispatch (Are you in trouble?—Do-you-need-advice?—Write-to-Miss-Lonelyhearts-and-she-will-help-you) sat at his desk and stared at a piece of white cardboard.
46
4,953 membres
54 critiques
3.9
2 utilisateurs
aethercowboy, ahef1963
Explications
aethercowboy: riverrun, past Eve and Adam's, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs.
47
15,078 membres
192 critiques
4
2 utilisateurs
hipdeep, aethercowboy
Explications
aethercowboy: I am an invisible man.
48
112 membres
3 critiques
3.8
Membre
Macbeth
Explications
Macbeth: I blame the Pope
49
18,731 membres
223 critiques
4
2 utilisateurs
aethercowboy, ManWithAnAgenda
Explications
aethercowboy: Someone must have slandered Josef K., for one morning, without having done anything truly wrong, he was arrested.
50
20,551 membres
157 critiques
½ 3.7
2 utilisateurs
hipdeep, ahef1963
Explications
hipdeep: Whan that Aprill with his shoures soote
The droghte of March hath perced to the roote, [...]
51
16,769 membres
290 critiques
3.8
2 utilisateurs
hipdeep, ahef1963
Explications
hipdeep: No one would have believed, in the last years of the nineteenth century, that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man's and yet as mortal as his own; that as men busied themselves about their various concerns they were being scrutinized and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinize the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water.
52
11,674 membres
241 critiques
4.1
2 utilisateurs
aethercowboy, ahef1963
Explications
aethercowboy: You are about to begin reading Italo Calvino's new novel, If on a winter's night a traveler.
53
7,279 membres
151 critiques
4
2 utilisateurs
hipdeep, ahef1963
Explications
hipdeep: Taran wanted to make a sword, but Coll, charged with the practical side of his education, decided on horseshoes.
54
2,130 membres
36 critiques
4
2 utilisateurs
aethercowboy, ManWithAnAgenda
Explications
aethercowboy: The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.
55
524 membres
17 critiques
½ 3.5
2 utilisateurs
aethercowboy, ManWithAnAgenda
Explications
aethercowboy: Dr. Weiss, at forty, knew that her life had been ruined by literature.
56
2,039 membres
71 critiques
½ 4.3
2 utilisateurs
hipdeep, ahef1963
Explications
hipdeep: I don't know what I should talk about - about death or about love? Or are they the same?
57
10,383 membres
185 critiques
½ 3.7
2 utilisateurs
aethercowboy, ManWithAnAgenda
Explications
aethercowboy: One summer afternoon Mrs. Oedipa Maas came home from a Tupperware party whose hostess had put perhaps too much kirsch in the fondue to find that she, Oedipa, had been named executor, or she supposed executrix, of the estate of one Pierce Inverarity, a California real estate mogul who had once lost two million dollars in his spare time but still had assets numerous and tangled enough to make the job of sorting it all out more than honorary.
58
22,458 membres
323 critiques
4
2 utilisateurs
aethercowboy, ahef1963
Explications
aethercowboy: Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed.
59
9,738 membres
159 critiques
3.9
2 utilisateurs
aethercowboy, ManWithAnAgenda
Explications
aethercowboy: He—for there could be no doubt of his sex, though the fashion of the time did something to disguise it—was in the act of slicing at the head of a Moor which swung from the rafters.
60
1,362 membres
33 critiques
½ 3.7
2 utilisateurs
aethercowboy, ahef1963
Explications
aethercowboy: 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.
61
16,169 membres
216 critiques
4
2 utilisateurs
aethercowboy, ahef1963
Explications
aethercowboy: Through the fence, between the curling flower spaces, I could see them hitting.
62
13,626 membres
181 critiques
4.1
2 utilisateurs
hipdeep, ahef1963
Explications
hipdeep: We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold.
63
11,155 membres
183 critiques
3.9
2 utilisateurs
hipdeep, ahef1963
Explications
hipdeep: When Gregor Samsa woke up one morning from unsettling dreams, he found himself changed in his bed into a monstrous vermin.
64
10,289 membres
165 critiques
4.2
2 utilisateurs
aethercowboy, ManWithAnAgenda
Explications
aethercowboy: For a long time, I went to bed early.
65
28,341 membres
468 critiques
3.8
2 utilisateurs
aethercowboy, ahef1963
Explications
aethercowboy: He was an old man who fished alone in a skiff in the Gulf Stream and he had gone eighty-four days now without taking a fish.
66
10,101 membres
135 critiques
4.1
Membre
aethercowboy
Explications
aethercowboy: A screaming comes across the sky.
67
728 membres
9 critiques
3.8
Membre
ManWithAnAgenda
Explications
ManWithAnAgenda: The telephone bell was ringing wildly, but without result, since there was no-one in the room but the corpse.
68
26,143 membres
612 critiques
4.1
2 utilisateurs
aethercowboy, ahef1963
Explications
aethercowboy: I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day in January of 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of 1974.
69
8,487 membres
110 critiques
½ 3.7
2 utilisateurs
aethercowboy, ManWithAnAgenda
Explications
aethercowboy: He was an inch, perhaps two, under six feet, powerfully built, and he advanced straight at you with a slight stoop of the shoulders, head forward, and a fixed from-under stare which made you think of a charging bull.
70
392 membres
18 critiques
3.9
Membre
ManWithAnAgenda
Explications
ManWithAnAgenda: I am thirty years old and that is nothing.
71
10,483 membres
123 critiques
3.9
Membre
ManWithAnAgenda
Explications
ManWithAnAgenda: Under certain circumstances there are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.
72
4,084 membres
277 critiques
4.1
Membre
Aquila
Explications
Aquila: I could have become a mass murderer after I hacked my governor module, but then I realized I could access the combined feed of entertainment channels carried on the company satellites.
73
2,986 membres
135 critiques
4.1
Membre
Aquila
Explications
Aquila: In the myriadic year of our lord—the ten thousandth year of the King Undying, the kindly Prince of Death!—Gideon Nav packed her sword, her shoes, and her dirty magazines, and she escaped from the House of the Ninth.
74
83 membres
3 critiques
3.8
Membre
Aquila
Explications
Aquila: Hal was not yet a prince when she fell in love with Lady Hotspur, but she would be within the hour.
75
565 membres
17 critiques
½ 3.7
Membre
Aquila
Explications
Aquila: The wind came into the house from the Sound, and it blew Daisy and me around her East Egg mansion like puffs of dandelion seeds, like foam, like a pair of young woman in white dresses who had no cares to weigh them down.
76
8,074 membres
151 critiques
4.2
Membre
hipdeep
Explications
hipdeep: I am old now, and have not much to fear from the anger of gods.
77
1,765 membres
44 critiques
3.9
Membre
Aquila
Explications
Aquila: The note said: someone in this class is a witch.
78
9,774 membres
243 critiques
4.1
Membre
Aquila
Explications
Aquila: There was a wall.
79
2,300 membres
42 critiques
3.9
Membre
Aquila
Explications
Aquila: Apart from the one in the church tower, there were five clocks in the village that kept reasonable time, and my father owned one of them.
80
4,619 membres
113 critiques
½ 3.7
Membre
Aquila
Explications
Aquila: I had this story from one who had no business to tell it to me, or to any other.
81
1,544 membres
24 critiques
3.8
Membre
aethercowboy
Explications
aethercowboy: The sun shone, having no alternative, on the nothing new.
82
1,080 membres
72 critiques
½ 3.5
Membre
hipdeep
Explications
hipdeep: Once upon a time on a small, watery, excitable planet called Earth, in a small, watery, excitable country called Italy, a soft-spoken, rather nice-looking gentleman by the name of Enrico Fermi was born into a family so overprotective that he felt compelled to invent the atomic bomb.
83
218 membres
3 critiques
½ 3.7
Membre
hipdeep
Explications
hipdeep: My old eighth-grade teacher, Miss Maggie Doubloon, said she was half Spanish, half French, and half Irish, a plethora of halves not entirely unnoticed by some of the brighter pupils.
84
2,177 membres
99 critiques
3.9
Membre
hipdeep
Explications
hipdeep: Dirk Moeller didn't know if he could fart his way into a major diplomatic incident.
85
4,366 membres
400 critiques
3.8
Membre
hipdeep
Explications
hipdeep: From the top of the large boulder he sat on, Ensign Tom Davis looked across the expanse of the cave toward Captain Lucius Abernathy, Science Officer Q'eeng, and Chief Engineer Paul West and thought, "Well, this sucks."
86
98 membres
1 critique
4
Membre
aethercowboy
Explications
aethercowboy: It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents, except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the house-tops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.
87
3,913 membres
78 critiques
½ 3.6
Membre
aethercowboy
Explications
aethercowboy: Every summer Lin Kong returned to Goose Village to divorce his wife, Shuyu.
88
11,494 membres
142 critiques
4.1
Membre
aethercowboy
Explications
aethercowboy: I am a sick man . . . I am a spiteful man.
89
522 membres
9 critiques
3.9
Membre
aethercowboy
Explications
aethercowboy: Where now? Who now? When now?
90
406 membres
2 critiques
½ 3.3
Membre
aethercowboy
Explications
aethercowboy: Once an angry man dragged his father along the ground through his own orchard. "Stop!" cried the groaning old man at last, "Stop! I did not drag my father beyond this tree."
91
592 membres
10 critiques
½ 3.6
Membre
aethercowboy
Explications
aethercowboy: In a sense, I am Jacob Horner.
92
1,265 membres
25 critiques
3.8
Membre
aethercowboy
Explications
aethercowboy: It was like so, but wasn't.
93
1,263 membres
17 critiques
4.2
Membre
aethercowboy
Explications
aethercowboy: —Money . . . in a voice that rustled.
94
4,506 membres
45 critiques
3.8
Membre
aethercowboy
Explications
aethercowboy: They shoot the white girl first.
95
176 membres
2 critiques
½ 3.5
Membre
aethercowboy
Explications
aethercowboy: The moment one learns English, complications set in.
96
7,433 membres
127 critiques
4.2
Membre
aethercowboy
Explications
aethercowboy: I was the shadow of the waxwing slain By the false azure in the windowpane;
97
218 membres
6 critiques
½ 3.5
Membre
aethercowboy
Explications
aethercowboy: Ages ago, Alex, Allen and Alva arrived at Antibes, and Alva allowing all, allowing anyone, against Alex's admonition, against Allen's angry assertion: another African amusement . . . anyhow, as all argued, an awesome African army assembled and arduously advanced against an African anthill, assiduously annihilating ant after ant, and afterward, Alex astonishingly accuses Albert as also accepting Africa's antipodal ant annexation.
98
3,065 membres
58 critiques
4
Membre
aethercowboy
Explications
aethercowboy: It was the day my grandmother exploded.
99
1,434 membres
43 critiques
4
Membre
aethercowboy
Explications
aethercowboy: Elmer Gantry was drunk.
100
2,076 membres
39 critiques
3.9
Membre
aethercowboy
Explications
aethercowboy: We started dying before the snow, and like the snow, we continued to fall.