The American Book Review has come up with a list of 100 Best First Lines from Novels. While there were quite a few of those first lines that I could recognize in the list, it was fun to be acquainted with many more which were unfamiliar to me. Do have a look at it yourself and see if you can spot any of your favourite openings in there as well.
Personally, two particularly memorable first lines that come to mind are :
Have you ever tasted a Whitstable oyster? If you have you will remember it.
Sarah Waters, Tipping The Velvet (1998)
No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear. I am not afraid, but the sensation is like being afraid. The same fluttering in the stomach, the same restlessness, the yawning. I keep on swallowing.
C.S Lewis, A Grief Observed (1961)
I first read those lines of C.S. Lewis when I was twenty and grieving over the loss of my first dog, whom I have had since I was four. It was my first full blown encounter with grief, and I can still remember thinking upon reading those lines, ‘Here is someone who is really saying it as it is. This is exactly what I feel!’ Those lines managed to help express what I was quietly internalizing. It articulated the process that was taking place in my systems, when I had no way of doing it myself. And that’s why they have stuck by, even seventeen years on.
What about the rest of you? Care to share abit on your own personal favourites?