April102014

When he woke in the woods in the dark and the cold of the night he’d reach out to touch the child sleeping beside him.

- The Road (2006), C. McCarthy

When he woke in the woods in the dark and the cold of the night he’d reach out to touch the child sleeping beside him.

- The Road (2006), C. McCarthy

5AM
5AM

The Time Traveller (for so it will be convenient to speak of him) was expounding a recondite matter to us

- The Time Machine (1895), HGW

The Time Traveller (for so it will be convenient to speak of him) was expounding a recondite matter to us

The Time Machine (1895), HGW

5AM
5AM

To the red country and part of the gray country of Oklahoma, the last rains came gently, and they did not cut the scarred earth. 

- The Grapes of Wrath (1939), J. Steinbeck

To the red country and part of the gray country of Oklahoma, the last rains came gently, and they did not cut the scarred earth. 

The Grapes of Wrath (1939), J. Steinbeck

5AM
5AM

I am seated in an office, surrounded by heads and bodies.

- Infinite Jest  (1996), D. F. Wallace

I am seated in an officesurrounded by heads and bodies.

Infinite Jest  (1996), D. F. Wallace

April92014

The 10 best first lines in fiction - The Observer

source

  1. Ulysses- Joyce. This is the classic third-person opening to the 20th-century novel that has shaped modern fiction, pro and anti, for almost a hundred years. As a sentence, it is possibly outdone by the strange and lyrical beginning of Joyce’s final and even more experimental novel, Finnegans Wake
  2. Pride and Prejudice - Austen. The one everyone knows (and quotes). Parodied, spoofed, and misremembered, Austen’s celebrated zinger remains the archetypal First Line for an archetypal tale. Only Dickens comes close, with the beginning of A Tale of Two Cities 
  3. Jane Eyre - C. Brontë. The polar opposite to Austen and Dickens, this line plunges the reader into the narrative, but in a low-key tone of disappointed expectations that captures Jane Eyre’s dismal circumstances. Brontë nails Jane’s hopeless prospects in 10 words. At the same time, the reader can hardly resist turning the first page. There’s also the intriguing contrast in tone with her sister Emily’s Wuthering Heights opening.
  4. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - Twain. The influence of this opening reverberates throughout the 20th century, and nowhere more so than in JD Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye 
  5. Luck of the Bodkins - Wodehouse. A classic English comic opening, perfectly constructed to deliver the joke in the final phrase, this virtuoso line also illustrates its author’s uncanny ear for the music of English. Contrast the haunting brevity of Daphne du Maurier in Rebecca, partly situated in the south of France, and also published in the 1930s
  6. Earthly Powers - Burgess. This is one of the supreme show-off first-person openings. Burgess challenges the reader (and himself) to step on to the roller coaster of a very tall tale (loosely based on the life of Somerset Maugham). It is matched by Rose Macaulay’s famous opening to The Towers of Trebizond
  7. I Capture the Castle - D. Smith. A brilliant beginning to a much-loved English classic, which tells us almost all we need to know about the narrator Cassandra Mortmain. Quirky and high-spirited, Dodie Smith’s novel is really an exercise in nostalgia. Smith (subsequently famous for The Hundred and One Dalmatians) was living in 1940s California, and wrote this story, in a sustained fever of nostalgia, to remind her of home. Perhaps only an English writer could extract so much resonance from that offbeat reference to “the kitchen sink.”
  8. The Bell Jar - Plat. Postwar American first lines don’t come much more angsty or zeitgeisty than this. Compare Saul Bellow’s Herzog. First published under the pseudonym “Victoria Lucas”, this first novel seems to parallel Sylvia Plath’s own descent into suicide. In fact, The Bell Jar was published only a month after its author’s tragic death in the bleak winter of 1963
  9. The Secret History - Tartt.  In this spooky opening, Tartt plunges the reader into the middle of a crime whose consequences will reverberate throughout the ensuing pages. Like all the best beginnings, the sentence also tells us something about the narrator, Richard Papen. He’s the outsider in a group of worldly students at Hampden College in rural Vermont. He was expecting a break from his bland suburban Californian life, but he doesn’t quite understand what he’s got himself into
  10.  Treasure Island - Stevenson. Among the most brilliant and enthralling opening lines in the English language
6PM

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

- The Secret History (1992), D. 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

- The Secret History (1992), D. Tartt

5PM

nutella-fandom:

and in that moment, i swear we were all Matilda

(via bhuckies)

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