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First Lines July 17, 2011

Posted by ccbooks in Quotes.

We all know that the first line of a book can be extremely important. Yes, there are books where it takes thirty pages to get into the story, but more often, if the sentence you read first is compelling, chances are it will be a good book. There are exceptions, obviously, but here are some of our favorite First Lines.

“I write this sitting in the kitchen sink.” –Dodie Smith, I Capture the Castle. 

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.” –Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice. 

“My father took one hundred and thirty-two minutes to die.” –Melina Marchetta, On the Jellicoe Road. 

There was a hand in the dark, and it held a knife.” –Neil Gaiman, The Graveyard Book. 

“The match snapped, then sizzled, and I woke up fast.” –Judy Blundell, What I Saw and How I Lied. 

And our favorite of all time…

“When I was nine years old, I hid under a table and heard my sister kill a king.” –Frances Hendry, Quest for a Maid. 

We just noticed that half of these are about death. Hmmm…..can anyone think of a bad first line about death? What other great first lines would you add?


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