Thursday, 24 July 2008

Booking Through Thursday

This week's Booking Through Thursday:

"What are your favourite first sentences from books? Is there a book that you liked specially because of its first sentence? Or a book, perhaps that you didn’t like but still remember simply because of the first line?"

Clearly, it would be awfully remiss not to mention the wonderful opening line from Pride & Prejudice, which is "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife." This must be one of the most famous lines in literature and it's a gem.

There's an opening line that really stuck in my mind - so much so that it's the sole reason the book is on my "to buy" list. "To say that I met Nicholas Brisbane over my husband's dead body is not entirely accurate. Edward, it should be noted, was still twitching upon the floor." That one is from Deanna Raybourne's Silent in the Grave and, although I've not yet read the book, has me very intrigued.

I don't think I've ever liked a book solely because of a first line or that a successful one would change my impression of a subsequently average read. It is a lovely feeling though to start a new book and within one sentence have already paused for reflection. It's not something that often happens but when it does you know you're on to a winner.

Anyone who has even the vaguest interest in the opening lines of books should head over to twitterlit. It's a great site that posts the first line of a book every day which is such a simple concept that's strangely addictive.

Bonus Feature - a short quiz from the BBC from 2004 - how well do you know these famous opening lines? My 8/10 is respectable but I do confess to a couple of guesses.

5 comments:

gautami tripathy said...

I am gonna take that BBC quiz right away!

Here is my BTT post

jlshall said...

Didn't know about "twitterlit" - I'll have to check it out. I usually head for Amazon or the Gutenberg Project if I'm looking for a first line or a quote.

Smilingsal said...

"It is a lovely feeling though to start a new book and within one sentence have already paused for reflection."

Lovely way of wording, and I totally agree!

Confuzzled Books said...

I just checked out TwitterLit and I can see how that can be addicting. :-)

oxford-reader said...

'The past is a foreign country. They do things differently there' -- The Go-Between.

I love that novel