Thursday, July 24, 2008
Suggested by: Nithin
Here’s another idea about memorable first lines from books.
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?
I'm glad this prompt says sentences because however would I choose just one? I actually bought a book of opening sentences, Novel Openers several years back. Not that I needed it for the sentences below; just reading them now makes me want to throw all my current books aside and dive back into these.
While Pearl Tull was dying, a funny thought occurred to her.
--Anne Tyler, Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant
I am nothing but a corpse now, a body at the bottom of the well.
--Orhan Pamuk, My Name is Red
My parents seemed to believe in letting everyone do whatever they wanted until they became very good at it or died.
--Robin Hemley, Nola: A Memor of Faith, Art, and Madness
The madwoman in the attic was standing at the window.
--Peter Rushforth, Pinkerton's Sister
The octopus lived in a square plastic box with holes for his arms.
--Margaret Drabble, The Realms of Gold
Daddy said it was a bedsheet, a fitted bedsheet, and he said she was wearing it up on her shoulders like a cape with two of the corners knotted around her neck.
--T.R. Pearson, A Short History of a Small Place
From a little after two oclock until almost sundown of the long still hot weary dead September afternoon they sat in what Miss Coldfield still called the office because her father had called it that--a dim hot airless room with the blinds all closed and fastened for forty-three summers because when she was a girl someone had believed that light and moving air carried heat and that dark was always cooler, and which (as the sun shone fuller and fuller on that side of the house) became latticed with yellow slashes full of dust motes which Quentin thought of as being flecks of the dead old dried paint itself blown inward from the scaling blinds as wind might have blown them.
--William Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom!
And a first sentence engraved into my head since childhood:
The first place that I can well remember was a large pleasant meadow with a pond of clear water in it.
--Anna Sewell, Black Beauty
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