Looking for the best opening lines in books? The opening paragraph of a publication can determine many items (such as whether you choose to continue with said publication ). It is the writer’s initial invitation to a world of their generation. Sometimes, they are lengthy, descriptive, run-on paragraphs that prepare one for whatever you are going to see, placing everything out on the desk. Or, they may be brief, concise, small, silent yet poetic paragraphs, not showing much, but urge you to read more.
Introduction paragraphs stick with you in a means unlike any other quotations since they’re forever the first words you connect to studying this particular work. They are the very first things that you see when you open the webpage to chapter you. (Bonus points: they are also the paragraphs you have read over every other item if you are at all like me and want to begin re-reading novels you love a good deal, but never really get around to completing your re-reads since there are a lot of books and so little time.)
- 1 Top 42 Rated Best Opening Lines In Books To Read
- 1.1 The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
- 1.2 Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon
- 1.3 Cat’s Eye by Margaret Atwood
- 1.4 Blue Nights by Joan Didion
- 1.5 Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
- 1.6 David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
- 1.7 The Book of Strange New Matters by Michel Faber
- 1.8 Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson
- 1.9 Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
- 1.10 The Waves by Virginia Woolf
- 1.11 The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
- 1.12 Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
- 1.13 Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
- 1.14 Sellevision by Augusten Burroughs
- 1.15 The Trial by Franz Kafka
- 1.16 Start Bang in the Middle of the Action – The Martian, Andy Weir
- 1.17 Set the Mood – The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
- 1.18 Get into Disposition – The Catcher in the Rye, J. D. Salinger
- 1.19 The Secret History, Donna Tartt
- 1.20 Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov
- 1.21 Rebecca, Daphne DuMaurier
- 1.22 Cry, the Beloved Country, Alan Paton
- 1.23 100 Years of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez
- 1.24 Camille, Alexandre Dumas
- 2 Halfway into the Grave, Jeaniene Frost
- 2.1 The Virgin Suicides, Jeffrey Eugenides
- 2.2 Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
- 2.3 Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.
- 2.4 The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger
- 2.5 The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
- 2.6 The Fault in Our Stars, John Green.
- 2.7 It, Stephen King.
- 2.8 In Swim-Two-Birds, Flann O’Brien.
- 2.9 Ultraviolet, R J Anderson.
- 2.10 The Fifth Elephant, Terry Pratchett.
- 2.11 Matilda, Roald Dahl
- 2.12 The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
- 2.13 Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
- 2.14 Back When We Were Grownups by Anne Tyler
- 2.15 The Color Purple by Alice Walker
- 2.16 Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
- 2.17 Middle Passage by Charles R.Johnson
- 2.18 Scaramouche: A Romance Of The French Revolution by Rafael Sabatini
- 2.19 Tracks by Robyn Davidson
Top 42 Rated Best Opening Lines In Books To Read
Never judge a book by its cover, but what about its own very first lineup?
Writing isn’t about just plot; it’s all about the craft of writing itself – metaphor, world-building, crafted phrases, sharp penetration, and yanking the reader to Story. A high first line is essential – if it hooks you into your gut and sends you torpedoing throughout the publication’s pages, takes your hand and gently leads you into a character’s soul, or gently dissolves your environment to a new universe. A first line is an introduction into a story; you’re committing to spending some time on it. It’s an assurance that the author, your manual in the narrative world, understands what she’s doing and you won’t be left midway, frustrated, and bitter.
Here is a list of the best opening lines in books that Pennbookcenter recommended reading:
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
“This was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn’t know what I was doing in New York.”
Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon
“A screaming comes across the sky.”
Cat’s Eye by Margaret Atwood
“Time is not a line but a dimension, like the dimensions of space ”
Blue Nights by Joan Didion
“In certain latitudes there comes a span of time approaching and following the summer solstice, some weeks in all, when the twilights turn long and blue.”
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
“It was a pleasure to burn.”
David Copperfield by 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.”
The Book of Strange New Matters by Michel Faber
“Forty minutes after he was up in the sky.”
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson
“We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold.”
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
“I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day in January of 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of 1974.”
The Waves by Virginia Woolf
“The sun had not yet risen.”
The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
“The time traveler (for so it will be convenient to speak of him) was expounding a recondite matter to us. ”
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
“Lolita, the light of my life, fire of my loins.”
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
“All this happened, more or less.”
Sellevision by Augusten Burroughs
“You exposed your penis on national television, Max.”
The Trial by Franz Kafka
“Someone must have slandered Josef K., for one morning, without having done anything truly wrong, he was arrested.”
Start Bang in the Middle of the Action – The Martian, Andy Weir
“I’m pretty much fucked.
That’s my considered opinion.”
Set the Mood – The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
“Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun. Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-two million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.”
Get into Disposition – 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.”
The Secret History, Donna Tartt
“The snow in the mountains was melting, and Bunny had been dead for several weeks before we came to understand the gravity of our situation.”
Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov
“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.”
Rebecca, Daphne DuMaurier
Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.
Cry, the Beloved Country, Alan Paton
“There’s a lovely road that runs from Ixopo into the hills. All these mountains are grass-covered and rolling, and they’re beautiful beyond any singing of it. The trail climbs seven miles into them, to Carisbrooke; and from that point, if there’s no mist, you look down to one of Africa’s fairest valleys.”
100 Years of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez
“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.”
Camille, Alexandre Dumas
“In my opinion, it is impossible to create characters until one has spent a long time in studying men, as it is impossible to speak a language until it has been seriously acquired.”
Halfway into the Grave, Jeaniene Frost
“I stiffened at the red and blue lights flashing behind me because there was no way I could explain what was in the back of my truck.”
The Virgin Suicides, Jeffrey Eugenides
“On the morning the last Lisbon daughter took her turn at suicide—it was Mary this time, and sleeping pills—the two paramedics arrived at the house knowing exactly where the knife drawer was, and the gas oven, and the beam in the basement from which it was possible to tie a rope. ”
Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
“All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.
“It’s a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”
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 all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it if you want to know the truth.”
The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
“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.”
The Fault in Our Stars, John Green.
“Late in the winter of my seventeenth year, my mother decided I was depressed, presumably because I rarely left the house, spent quite a lot of time in bed, read the same book over and over, ate infrequently, and devoted quite a bit of my abundant free time to thinking about death.”
It, Stephen King.
“The terror, which would not end for another twenty-eight years- if it ever did end- began, so far as I know or can tell, with a boat made from a sheet of newspaper floating down a gutter swollen with rain.”
In Swim-Two-Birds, Flann O’Brien.
“Having placed in my mouth sufficient bread for three minutes’ chewing, I withdrew my powers of sensual perception and retired into the privacy of my mind, my eyes and face assuming a vacant and preoccupied expression.”
Ultraviolet, R J Anderson.
“The darkness behind my eyelids was thick and stank of chemicals, as though someone has poured black oil inside my head.”
The Fifth Elephant, Terry Pratchett.
‘They say the world is flat and supported on the back of four elephants who themselves stand on the back of a giant turtle.”
Matilda, Roald Dahl
“It’s a funny thing about mothers and fathers. Even when their own child is the most disgusting little blister you could ever imagine, they still think that he or she is wonderful.”
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
“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 advantageds that you’uve had.”
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
“Ships at a distance have every man’s wish on board.”
Back When We Were Grownups by Anne Tyler
“Once upon a time, There was a woman who discovered she had turned into the wrong person.”
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
“You better not never tell anybody but God.”
Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
“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 peeded into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, “and what is the use of a book”,u thought Alice, “without pictures or conversations?”
Middle Passage by Charles R.Johnson
“Of all of the things that drive meun to sea, the most common disaster, I’ve come to learn, is women.”
Scaramouche: A Romance Of The French Revolution by Rafael Sabatini
“He was born with a gift laughter and a sense that the world was mad.”
Tracks by Robyn Davidson
“We started dying before the snow, and like the snow; we continued to fall.”
Last update on 2020-09-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API