What’s Your Favorite Opening Line Of A Book?

The opening line of a novel tends to set the mood for the entire story.  So I want to know what you’re favorite opening lines of a book are.  Here are a few of my faves

My mother died at the moment I was born, and so for my whole life there was nothing standing between me and eternity; at my back was always a bleak, black wind.”

– Xuela by Jamaica Kincaid

It happened for the first time on a Tuesday afternoon, a warm spring day in the flatlands near Hollywood, a light breeze moving east from the ocean and stirring the black eyed pansy petals newly planted in our flower boxes.

– The Particular Sadness Of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender

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.

– Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

What are some of your favorites?

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Filed under Writing

7 responses to “What’s Your Favorite Opening Line Of A Book?

  1. “My name is Salmon, like the fish. First name: Susie.”

    – The Lovely Bones 🙂

  2. Hey Man, You’ve Been Hit by The Dark Globe… Thanks for being one of Our Writers, and Thanks for Following it


  3. Hey there! The Dark Globe follower appreciation post sent me here. 🙂 Just wanted to say I really like your blog.

    I tried to find a good opening line for you, but as I went through my favorites on my shelf I realized none of them really had a big opening. I read mainly romance novels, so I wonder if this is a genre thing? Or maybe because some of them are older? It’s interesting that most of them start with description, rather than something closer to what you posted above. I noticed they usually picked up at the end of the first paragraph, rather than the first sentence. And for a few of my favorites, I’m not even sure where I got hooked, I just was. Maybe it’s in the way they describe things? I also noticed 2 out of 3 quotes I have for you are from anthologies. Maybe because they have less words to grab a reader with, so they give you more up front? Lol, I’ll have to re-read some of those now, and really look at how they hooked me. 🙂

    “‘Tis said that in a woman’s solar the course of wars and the fate of countries is decided.” – ‘To Kiss In The Shadows,’ by Lynn Kurland (from an anthology called ‘Tapestry’)

    “Even though it was an incredibly busy night at the bar, even though he could barely hear the newest order over the din of loud conversation, music, and laughter, he heard her.” – ‘Tangled Dreams,’ by Lori Foster (from an anthology called ‘Charmed’)

    “I’d never given much thought to how I would die – though I’d had reason enough in the last few months – but even if I had, I would not have imagined it like this.” – ‘Twilight,’ by Stephenie Meyer

  4. In the beginning……

    Here via the Dark Globe

  5. “I was sitting in a taxi, wondering if I had overdressed for the evening, when I looked out the window and saw Mom rooting through a Dumpster.”
    The Glass Castle

  6. “I was stealing salt shakers again.”
    Apathy and Other Small Victories by Paul Neilan

    It probably sounds weird…because it is. Good weird. Must read on. 🙂

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