Further fantastic first lines

Posted on 29th June 2015 by Jonathan O'Brien
More great first lines, as picked by you.
We love a good first line so, a few months ago, we posted some of our favourite first lines in fiction. Since then, you've been in touch with some of your own favourites and so we're back with another set. This article in no way exists entirely to meet our monthly 'blog posts with alliterative titles' targets (which we have just made up but now, come to think about it, should absolutely be a thing).

"It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen."
1984  by George Orwell

"It was love at first sight. The first time Yossarian saw the chaplain he fell madly in love with him."
Catch 22 by Joseph Heller

"The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there."
The Go-Betweens by L.P. Hartley

"All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way."
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

“There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.”
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis

"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife."
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

“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.”
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

“Mother died today. Or maybe yesterday; I can’t be sure.”
The Outsider by Albert Camus

"It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn't know what I was doing in New York."
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

“The snow in the mountains was melting and Bunny had been dead for several weeks before we understood the gravity of our situation.” 
The Secret History by Donna Tartt

"We slept in what had once been the gymnasium.”
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

“As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into an enormous insect.”
Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

"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 Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

“Later, as he sat on his balcony eating the dog, Dr Robert Laing reflected on the unusual events that had taken place within this huge apartment building during the previous three months.”
High-Rise by J.G. Ballard


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