Monday, September 29, 2008

Good First Sentences

You have to admire a book that starts off with a good first sentence. Because lots of books just take the easy way out and start off with a normal sentence that they translate into maybe a good opening paragraph or even a good opening chapter.

But to come off with a killer first sentence? That takes some work and some talent.

This post is dedicated to good examples of the awesome first sentence. Please feel free to add a comment with one that's impressed you. Also visit this site for a list of 100:

Here's one that caught my attention lately:
"Prince Raoden of Arelon awoke early that morning, completely unaware that he had been damned for all eternity."
From Elantris by Brandon Sanderson.

I read that and squirmed with pleasure and said, "OOOooooooo."

Does anyone want to submit any other good contenders?


Adam said...

"The night was sultry"

Okay, so it wasn't the perfect first line of a book, but it was the perfect first line of an imaginary book that Larry was trying to write in "Throw Momma from the Train", except when he couldn't come up with it, Warren's mom did.

Adam said...

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..."

Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

Okay, so I didn't actually read the whole book but you have to admit that's one heck of an opening line...

Adam said...

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.

- The War of the Worlds, H. G. Wells

Adam said...

We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson

Adam said...

Midway on our life's journey, I found myself in dark woods, the right road lost.

The Divine Comedy, The Inferno by Dante Alighieri.

Breanne said...

From The Catcher in the Rye by Salinger:

"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."

Breanne said...

‘Windows on the World,’ by Frederic Beigbeder:

“You know how it ends: Everybody dies.”

Breanne said...

Here's a list of 100:

Adam said...

Here's a list on wikiquotes:

Ryan said...

I can't compete.