I'm obsessed with a good opening sentence. I love quotes in general, but a good opening line sets the whole tone and can either suck me in or make me want to read something else.
It was really fun to narrow down my favorites. I pulled a ton of books off my shelves and tried to come up with quotes that I loved for different reasons. But if I'm being honest, I had most of these singled out before I thought about writing this post. When an opening sentence works, it sticks with you.
This is also a linkup for #BookishBloggersUnite! If you have opening sentences that you want to share, link your post below. Here are four of my favorite!
Ah, J.D. Salinger. The original literary recluse. The Catcher in the Rye certainly has its fair share of critics, but love it or hate it, you can't deny that this opening sentence immediately lets you know what you're in for:
“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.”
I'm in the Catcher in the Rye fan club, despite not knowing what a catcher or a rye actually is. My favorite books are generally more character driven, and Holden Caulfield is definitely an icon.
The Virgin Suicides | Jeffrey Eugenides
This book intrigues me. I still have yet to read it (I know), but I wanted to read an Eugenides book and when I saw this opening, I knew I had to know more.
"On the morning the last Lisbon daughter took her turn at suicide- it was Mary this time, and sleeping pills, like Therese- the two paramedics arrived at the house knowing exactly where the knife drawer was, and the gas oven, and the beam in the basement from which it was possible to tie a rope."
Suicide is never an easy topic to discuss, and I can't imagine how this book works. But something about Eugenides's writing has given it staying power, and I need to keep reading.
"The snow in the mountains was melting and Bunny had been dead for several weeks before we came to understand the gravity of our situation."
Not a spoiler, just a fantastic opening sentence. I loved reading through this book knowing poor Bunny's fate.
It | Stephen King
The terror, which would not end for another twenty-eight years- if it ever did end- began, so far as I know or can tell, with a boat made from a sheet of newspaper floating down a gutter swollen with rain."
Well damn does that set the tone or what!! There is so much packed into this sentence. The little boat floating into the gutter with the horrid clown waiting below... poor Georgie.
I also just noticed that most of my favorites have a pretty strong death theme.... so. Not sure what that says about me!
Are you a quotes person? What are some of your favorite opening lines?