Best first lines from novels


This is the saddest story I have ever heard. —Ford Madox Ford, The Good Soldier (1915)





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)





It was the day my grandmother exploded.—Iain M. Banks, The crow road (1992)





Look, I didn’t want to be a Half-Blood. —Rick Riordan: The Lightning Thief (2005)





All happy families are alike, each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. —Leo Tolstoy: Anna Karenina (1873-77)





Mother died today. Or maybe, yesterday; I can’t be sure. —Albert Camus: The Stranger (1946)





When I wake up, the other side of the bed is cold. —Suzanne Collins: The Hunger Games (2008)




I am an invisible man. —Ralph Ellison: Invisible man (1952)





When Mr. Bilbo Baggins of Bag End announced that he would shortly be celebrating his eleventy-first birthday with a party of special magnificence, there was much talk and excitement in Hobbiton. —J.R.R Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings. Part One. Fellowship of the Rings (1954)




There was a man lived by a churchyard—. — John Dickson Carr: The Burning Court (1937)





Favorite first lines, International English, vg2

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