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Added by Dionysian Child on 11 Jul 2009 11:10
33919 Views 7 Comments
79
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Impressive First Lines

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'Call me Ishmael.'

Herman Melville, Moby-Dick (1851)
People who added this item 109 Average listal rating (55 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 0
Lolita (Penguin Classics) - Vladimir Nabokov
'Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins.'

Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita (1955)
Dionysian Child's rating:
'When a day that you happen to know is Wednesday starts off by sounding like Sunday, there is something seriously wrong somewhere.'

John Wyndham, The Day of the Triffids (1951)
Dionysian Child's rating:
People who added this item 374 Average listal rating (188 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 0
American Psycho - Bret Easton Ellis
'ABANDON ALL HOPE YE WHO ENTER HERE is scrawled in blood red lettering on the side of the Chemical Bank near the corner of Eleventh and First and is in print large enough to be seen from the backseat of the cab as it lurches forward in the traffic leaving Wall Street and just as Timothy Price notices the words a bus pulls up, the advertisement for Les Miserables on its side blocking his view, but Price who is with Pierce & Pierce and twenty-six doesn't seem to care because he tells the driver he will give him five dollars to turn up the radio, "Be My Baby" on WYNN, and the driver, black, not American, does so.'

Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho (1991)
People who added this item 370 Average listal rating (213 ratings) 8.4 IMDB Rating 0
Pride And Prejudice - Jane Austen
'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 (1813)
Dionysian Child's rating:
'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 Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities (1859)
People who added this item 812 Average listal rating (722 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 0
The Catcher in the Rye - J.D. 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.'

J. D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye (1951)
Dionysian Child's rating:
People who added this item 192 Average listal rating (96 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 0
Neuromancer - William Gibson_II
'The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.'

William Gibson, Neuromancer (1984)
'As Gregor Samsa awoke from a night of uneasy dreaming, he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect.'

Franz Kafka, The Metamorphosis (1915)
Dionysian Child's rating:
People who added this item 97 Average listal rating (61 ratings) 8.6 IMDB Rating 0
Nineteen Eighty-Four - George Orwell
'It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. '

George Orwell, 1984 (1949)
Dionysian Child's rating:
People who added this item 90 Average listal rating (42 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 0
Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
'Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.'

Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina (1877; trans. Constance Garnett)
People who added this item 59 Average listal rating (28 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 0
David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
'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.'

Charles Dickens, David Copperfield (1850)
Dionysian Child's rating:
People who added this item 410 Average listal rating (349 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 0
Romeo and Juliet - William Shakespeare
'Two households, both alike in dignity, In fair Verona, where we lay our scene, From ancient grudge break to new mutiny, Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.'

William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
Dionysian Child's rating:
People who added this item 119 Average listal rating (69 ratings) 8.4 IMDB Rating 0
Peter Pan - J. M. Barrie
'All children, except one, grow up.'

J. M. Barrie, Peter Pan (1911)
Dionysian Child's rating:
People who added this item 72 Average listal rating (36 ratings) 8.8 IMDB Rating 0
'I am a sick man . . . I am a spiteful man.'

Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes from Underground (1864; trans. Michael R. Katz)
Dionysian Child's rating:
People who added this item 193 Average listal rating (102 ratings) 8.4 IMDB Rating 0
The Trial - Franz Kafka
'Someone must have slandered Josef K., for one morning, without having done anything truly wrong, he was arrested.'

—Franz Kafka, The Trial (1925; trans. Breon Mitchell)
Dionysian Child's rating:
People who added this item 304 Average listal rating (170 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 0
The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
'I became what I am today at the age of twelve, on a frigid overcast day in the winter of 1975.'

Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner (2007)
Dionysian Child's rating:
People who added this item 157 Average listal rating (70 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 0
Catch-22 - Joseph Heller
'It was love at first sight.'

Joseph Heller, Catch-22 (1961)
People who added this item 62 Average listal rating (21 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 0
Lady Chatterley's Lover - David Herb Lawrence
'Ours is essentially a tragic age, so we refuse to take it tragically.'

D. H Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover (1928)
Dionysian Child's rating:
People who added this item 337 Average listal rating (206 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 0
'Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the riverbank, 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 (1865)
Dionysian Child's rating:
People who added this item 157 Average listal rating (77 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 0
The Iliad - Homer
'Sing, goddess, the anger of Peleus’ son Achilleus
and its devastation, which put pains thousandfold upon the Achaians,
hurled in their multitudes to the house of Hades strong souls of heroes, but gave their bodies to be the delicate feasting of dogs, of all birds, and the will of Zeus was accomplished.

Homer, The Iliad (Trans 1951)
People who added this item 813 Average listal rating (695 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 0
To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
'When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow.'

Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird (1936)
Dionysian Child's rating:
'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.'

Gabriel García Márquez, 100 Years of Solitude (1976)
'For a long time, I went to bed early.'

Marcel Proust, Swanns's Way (1913; trans. Lydia Davis)
People who added this item 12 Average listal rating (7 ratings) 9.3 IMDB Rating 0
The End of the Affair - Graham Greene_I
'A story has no beginning or end; arbitrarily one chooses that moment of experience from which to look back or from which to look ahead.'

Graham Greene, The End of the Affair (1951)
People who added this item 2 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 9 IMDB Rating 0
Tracks - Louise Erdrich
'We started dying before the snow, and like the snow, we continued to fall.'

Louise Erdrich, Tracks (1988)
People who added this item 76 Average listal rating (50 ratings) 8.8 IMDB Rating 0
The Shadow Of The Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
'I still remember the day my father took me to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books for the first time.'

Carlos Ruiz Zafon, The Shadow of The Wind (2005)
Dionysian Child's rating:
People who added this item 55 Average listal rating (26 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 0
The Beach - Alex Garland
'The first I heard of the beach was in Bangkok, on the Ko Sanh Road.'

Alex Garland, The Beach (1996)
Dionysian Child's rating:
'In the beginning God created heaven and earth.'

God, Genesis- The Bible
Dionysian Child's rating:

The greatest opening sentences in all of literature.

I have scoured through my collection of books, and trawled through some new ones to find the words that continue linger on after the first page has been turned.

Here lies the authors chosen first line of text, which has now come to epitomise all that follows within their sequential pages.

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