Saturday, July 14, 2012

Great Book First Lines

Face it: you will never have time to read all the good books there are.  So here are a few great first lines from books I may or may not have read.

"Captain Ahab was neither my first husband nor my last." from Ahab's Wife by Sena Jeter Naslund

"There are some men who enter a woman's life and screw it up forever.  Joe Morelli did this to me - not forever - but periodically." from One for the Money by Janet Evanovich (OK - it's two lines, so sue me.)

"I write this sitting in the kitchen sink." from I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

"Polar Exploration is at once the cleanest and most isolated way of having a bad time which has ever been devised." from "The Worst Journey in the World" by Apsley Cherry-Garrard, survivor of the disastrous Scott Expedition to the Antarctic.

"There are dragons in the twins vegetable garden." from A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L'Engle

"There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb and he almost deserved it." from The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis

"Once upon a time, there was a woman who discovered that she had turned into the wrong person." from Back When We Were Grownups by Anne Tyler

"In our family there was no clear difference between religion and fly fishing." from A River Runs Through It by Norman MacLean

"In the middle of my life I came to myself in a dark wood, and the way was lost" from Inferno by Dante

"Having spent two months travelling in the primary rain forests of Borneo, a four month journey in the country between the Orinoco and the Amazon would pose, I thought, no particular problem.' from In Trouble Again, by Redmond O'Hanlon.

"There was no possibility of taking a walk that day." from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

"Into the face of the young man who sat on the terrace of the Hotel Magnifique at Cannes there had crept a look of furtive shame, the shifty, hangdog look which announces that an Englishman is about to talk French." from The Luck of the Bodkins by PG Wodehouse

One line I remember from a book title I've forgotten:

"Somebody said 'true love is like ghosts which everyone talks about but few have seen.' I've seen both and I don't know how to tell you which is worse."   Can't remember the name of this book, but the author's name starts with G and there's a picture of the corner of a white house on the cover. Plus, it's a quote within a quote and the part starting 'true love is like ghosts which everyone talks about but few has seen' is adapted from La Rochefoucauld. [edited - the book is More Than You Know, by Beth Gutcheon.]

Do you have any favorites: I've left off some of the most famous ones - Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Huckleberry Finn, Rebecca, Tale of Two Cities, War and Peace, etc.

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