Some memorable Opening Lines


  • 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.
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude: 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.
  • Anna Karenina: Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.
  • A Tale of Two Cities: 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.
  • Gravity’s Rainbow: A screaming comes across the sky.
  • Finnegans Wake: 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.
  • 1984: It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.
  • Miss Lonelyhearts. 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.
  • Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: 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.
  • The Metamorphosis: One morning, as Gregor Samsa awoke from anxious dreams, he discovered that during the night he had been transformed into a monstrous bug.
  • The Trial: Someone must have slandered Josef K., for one morning, without having done anything truly wrong, he was arrested.
  • If on a winter’s night a traveler: You are about to begin reading Italo Calvino’s new novel, If on a winter’s night a traveler.
  • Murphy: The sun shone, having no alternative, on the nothing new.
  • The Catcher in the Rye: 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.
  • A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man: 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.
  • The Good Soldier: This is the saddest story I have ever heard.
  • Tristram Shandy: 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.
  • David Copperfield: 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.
  • The Stranger: Mother died today. Or maybe yesterday, I don’t know.
  • The Great Gatsby:  In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.
    “Whenever you feel like criticizing any one,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.”
  • Gone with the Wind – Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were.
  • Mrs. Dalloway: “Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself.”
  • Slaughterhouse-Five:  All this happened, more or less.
  • Harry Potter:Mr. & Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.
  • A Thousand Splendid Suns: Mariam was five years old the first time she heard the word harami.
  • The Gunslinger: The man in black fled across the desert and the gunslingerfollowed.
  • CANADA by Richard Ford: First I’ll tell about the robbery our parents committed. Then about the murders, which happened later.
  • The Tin Drum:  Granted:  I am an inmate of a mental hospital.
  • The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: “Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western Spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small  unregarded yellow sun. Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-eight million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue-green  planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.”
  • A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens:  MARLEY WAS DEAD, to begin with.
  • Catch-22:  It was love at first sight.  The first time Yossarian saw the chaplain, he fell madly in love with him.
  • The Old Man and the Sea: “He was an old mad who fished alone in a skiff in the Gulf Stream and he had gone eighty-four days now without taking a fish.”
  • Alice in Wonderland:  Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, “and what is the use of a book,” thought Alice, “without pictures or conversations?”




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