It’s that time again and this month’s prompt brought me no end of difficulty
It’s been difficult for me to think of beginnings when summer is ending, and honestly – I’ve not had much ‘starting anew’ in my life of late. Nothing noteworthy that is. So – since this is a book blog, and there are multiple lists out there about ‘best starting lines’ from books – here goes
Call me Ishmael. —Herman Melville, Moby-Dick (1851)
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)
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.
—Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967)
Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.
—Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina (1877)
It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.
—George Orwell, 1984 (1949)
I am an invisible man. —Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man (1952)
You don’t know about me without you have read a book by the name of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; but that ain’t no matter.
—Mark Twain, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885)
The sun shone, having no alternative, on the nothing new. —Samuel Beckett, Murphy (1938)
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.
—J. D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye (1951)
Somewhere in la Mancha, in a place whose name I do not care to remember, a gentleman lived not
long ago, one of those who has a lance and ancient shield on a shelf and keeps a skinny nag
and a greyhound for racing.
—Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote (1605)
All this happened, more or less. —Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five (1969)
They shoot the white girl first. —Toni Morrison, Paradise (1998)
I had the story, bit by bit, from various people, and, as generally happens in such cases, each time
it was a different story.
—Edith Wharton, Ethan Frome (1911)
Miss Brooke had that kind of beauty which seems to be thrown into relief by poor dress.
—George Eliot, Middlemarch (1872)
The human race, to which so many of my readers belong, has been playing at children’s games from the beginning, and will probably do it till the end, which is a nuisance for the few people who grow up.
—G. K. Chesterton, The Napoleon of Notting Hill (1904)
A first sentence should grab your attention and make you wonder why, or who – and while most of my chosen beginnings here are from classics, each one has done just that – made me want more.
Do you have a memorable beginning to a much-loved book?