Thursday, June 25, 2009
Nothing grabs our attention than a well-written opening line. It sets the mood for the rest of the novel and gives us the motivation to finish the book in our hands. Every time I finish a book, I always make it a point to go back to that first sentence. Going back somehow gives me a feeling of closure. Here are some of the most fascinating and brilliant opening lines of books I've read.
From Moby Dick
Call me Ishmael.
From Pride and Prejudice
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.
From Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.
From I, Claudius
I, Tiberius Claudius Drusus Nero Germanicus This-that-and-the-other (for I shall not trouble you yet with all my titles) who was once, and not so long ago either, known to my friends and relatives and associates as "Claudius the Idiot," or "That Claudius," or "Claudius the Stammerer," or "Clau-Clau-Claudius" or at best as "Poor Uncle Claudius," am now about to write this strange history of my life; starting from my earliest childhood and continuing year by year until I reach the fateful point of change where, some eight years ago, at the age of fifty-one, I suddenly found myself caught in what I may call the "golden predicament" from which I have never since become disentangled.
It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.
From One Hundred Years of Solitude
Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendia was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.
How about you, dear reader? Are there any opening lines that are truly memorable?