Discussion » Art & Design » Great Opening Lines

  • Pavoir Sponse
    Pavoir Sponse wrote:

    Haven't done a bookish post in a while, so thought would have a stab.

    I gotta real thing for great opening lines; they can be so very arresting.

    So tell me a few you like, if you can't think of one of the top of your head just grab a book off the shelf.... 

  • Pavoir Sponse
    Pavoir Sponse wrote:

    Better do one of my personal faves....

    Mother died today or maybe, yesterday; I can't be sure.- The Outsider by Albert Camus

  • Mari Vidste
    Mari Vidste wrote:

    "Early one June morning in 1872 I murdered my father--an act which made a deep impression on me at the time."

    "An Imperfect Conflagration" by Ambrose Bierce

  • Pavoir Sponse
    Pavoir Sponse wrote:

    Don't know the book, killer line though (pun intended).

  • Pavoir Sponse
    Pavoir Sponse wrote:

    Like the Trainspotting one Scott.

    "I HAVE often been asked- how it was, and through what series of steps, that I became an opium-eater."

    'Confessions of An English Opium-Eater' by Thomas De Quincey.

    Though I do admit, it loses a bit of its verve if you substitute opium for something more mundane, cheese say.

     

  • Checkered
    Checkered wrote:

    “Mama died today. Or yesterday maybe, I don’t know.”

    Can't think of my favourite ones at the moment, the above is just the most impressive one.

  • Pavoir Sponse
    Pavoir Sponse wrote:

    An absolute classic 

  • Pavoir Sponse
    Pavoir Sponse wrote:

    The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.


  • High Priest
    High Priest wrote:

    Experience is a lantern that doesn't light up the path ahead of us, but the road we've left behind. High Priest

    Even if the thunder can be too loud with lightning, it can't split the sky so that God's throne could be seen. Lutumba Simaro

  • Pavoir Sponse
    Pavoir Sponse wrote:

    Call me Ishmael.

  • Ataahua
    Ataahua wrote:

    Ça ne fait rien. Dessine-moi un mouton.

  • High Priest
    High Priest wrote:

    @Alex, just call me "Step Dad"

  • 随便叫兽
    随便叫兽 wrote:

    @Alex, The quote was coherent. It wasn't illiterate, because he read it somewhere else. It's plagiarism.

    @High Priest, That was a criminally unfunny retort.

    I sentence both of you to death for crimes against lulz. Don't queef up a winning thread.

  • High Priest
    High Priest wrote:

    @Dando, would u find  the owner of the quote mentioned?

    Is there a way to appeal the sentence?

  • 随便叫兽
    随便叫兽 wrote:

    @High, No.

  • Saint - Spartacus

      i always think about how a human controle another human in real time , and that's damn true ... 

    panic, fear as body freeze , invisible troll puppet ... ...

     

  • Saint - Spartacus
  • Pavoir Sponse
    Pavoir Sponse wrote:

    As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect.
    The Metamorphosis 

  • Simen Wangberg

    Most folks already posted my faves. But here's a funny one, even if it doesn't tell you anything about the book:

    "If you're going to read this, don't bother." - Chuck Palahniuk, Choke

    And a gem from Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five:

    "All this happened, more or less."


  • Daniel
    Daniel wrote:

    Hands up, who Wikipedia'd 'Opening Lines' ? 

     

    The two that immediately come to mind for me are 

    It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way - in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only

    and

     Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta.

    I also quite like the following one from The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa: 

    I was born in a time when the majority of young people had lost faith in God, for the same reason their elders had had it - without knowing why. 

    And the following opening lines from one of my favourite Larkin poems: 

    They fuck you up, your mum and dad./ They may not mean to, but they do.

  • Daniel
    Daniel wrote:

    Call me Ishmael.

    Have actually had that quote used as a chat-up line on me when I told a woman in a bar I was currently writing on Moby Dick. Weirdest pick up ever. 

  • Father Of Boring

    @Daniel - Two weeks ago they had a bit on Prarie Home Companion about an action star who was in a version of Moby Dick where Ishmael was a woman, Ahab "called her, and she came".  Ver batim, that.

  • Daniel
    Daniel wrote:

    That sounds like it's been lifted out of one of those pornographic adaptations of famous books and films...and you wouldn't even need to change the title! 

  • Father Of Boring

    "Captain Ahab, stab your harpoon in the whale's blowhole."

  • Pavoir Sponse
    Pavoir Sponse wrote:

    The erotic film version is called Mouldy Dick, it's quite a film.

    "There was a rock that since the creation of the world had been worked upon by the pure essences of Heaven and the fine savours of Earth, the vigour of sunshine and the grace of moonlight, till at last it became magically pregnant and one day split open, giving birth to a stone egg, about as big as a playing ball."

    Monkey/Journey To The West.

  • Malin Aaker
    Malin Aaker wrote:

    The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents.

    The Call of Cthulhu', by H. P. Lovecraft

    The only author who's book I threw away being so freaking scared! He invented horror & fantasy books and I haven't read anything that scary from anyone else. Not all of the stories are on the same level though. Far from it.

     

    It was a pleasure to burn.

    Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.

    Great author loved what I read from him.

     

    All children, except one, grow up.

    Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie

     

    IN EIGHTEENTH--CENTURY France there lived a man who was one of the most gifted and abominable personages in an era that knew no lack of gifted and abominable personages.

    The Perfume - Story of a Murderer - Patrick Suskind

    One of my latest reads, really great book.

     

    Lorsque j’avais six ans j’ai vu, une fois, une magnifique image, dans un livre sur la Forêt Vierge qui s’appelait « Histoires Vécues ».

    Le Petit Prince - Antoine de St Exupéry

    I'll let you look up the translation.

     

    POUR moi, le chemin de la drogue a commencé par un éclat d’obus dans l’œil quand je n’étais pas encore conscient.

    =====> For me, the path to drug started with a piece of bomb-shell in my eye while I was not even yet conscious. (or something like that, forgive the shitty translation).
       
    Flash ou l'incroyable voyage - Charles Duchaussois

    One of my all-time favorite books. A must-read.

     

    I was quite disappointed to see that there's no great opening line from Asimov, or I couldn't find one just right now at least!

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