I was listening to Slate’s Culture Gabfest last week, one of their topics was great opening lines from novels. The hosts trotted out the usual collection of ‘books you are meant to acknowledge in a discussion like this’ such as Ulysses and Moby Dick. Zzzzzzz.
So here are some great opening lines from novels that you won’t normally hear about in discussions about great opening lines from novels. Add your favourites in the comments!
“The man in black fled across the desert and the gunslinger followed” – The Dark Tower Book 1: The Gunslinger by Stephen King
“When a day that you happen to know is Wednesday starts off by sounding like Sunday, there is something seriously wrong somewhere.” – The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham
“A merry little surge of electricity piped by automatic alarm from the mood organ beside his bed awakened Rick Deckard.” – Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
“The sky above the port was the colour of television, tuned to a dead channel.” – Neuromancer by William Gibson
“I was born in a house with a million rooms, built on a small, airless world on the edge of an empire of light and commerce that the adults called the Golden Hour, for a reason I did not yet grasp.” – House of Suns by Alastair Reynolds
“Mars was empty before we came.” – Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson
“Sooner or later, it was bound to happen.” – Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke
“I’ll make my report as if I told a story, for I was taught as a child on my homeworld that Truth is a matter of the imagination.” – The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursuala K. Le Guin