Great Opening Lines

I’m a sucker for a great opening line and an article in the Telegraph, listed 30. Below, I’ve picked out a few of my favourites and surprisingly, I’ve read most of the books.

‘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 a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.’ George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four

‘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

‘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 criticising any one, 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

‘It was love at first sight. The first time Yossarian saw the chaplain he fell madly in love with him.’ Joseph Heller, Catch-22

‘All children, except one, grow up.’ J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

‘Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta.’ Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita

‘It was the day my grandmother exploded.’ Iain Banks, The Crow Road

‘All this happened, more or less.’ Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse Five

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply