I’ve recently come across several lists of famous opening lines for famous books. I want to share them because well, they’re… genius.
”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
”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.”
– Charles Dicken, A Tale of Two Cities
”All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”
– Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina
”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.”
– J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye
”It was a pleasure to burn.”
– Ray Bradbury, Farenheit 451
”You better not never tell nobody but God.”
– Alice Walker, The Color Purple
”The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.”
– William Gibson, Neuromancer
”In our family, there was no clear line between religion and fly-fishing.”
– Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It
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 conversation?’
– Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
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 anyone,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.”
– F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
James Bond, with two double bourbons inside him, sat in the final departure lounge of Miami Airport and though about life and death.
– Ian Fleming, Goldfinger
Once there were four children whose names were Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy. This story is about something that happened to them when they were sent away from London during the war because of the air-raids.
– C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Here is Edward Bear, coming downstairs now, bump, bump, bump, on the back of his head, behind Christopher Robin.
– A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh
I began this disorderly and almost endless collection of scattered thoughts and observations in order to gratify a good mother who knows how to think.
– Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Emile
In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.
– J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit
Gosh I want to be a writer. A real one.
That is all.