Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Top 5 First Lines

It's been a while since I've done a top 5 list, so I decided to dust it off and give it another go.  These are my five favorite opening lines from the books and short stories that I've read.  I've probably forgotten something brilliant from Dr. Seuss or another semi-forgotten children's author, but these are the five that came most readily to mind.  In chronological order:

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
The Bible

Marley was dead: to begin with.
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis

William Shakespeare, later known as the Beard of Avon, was born in 1564, on April 21, 22, or 23, and all his life kept people guessing.
Twisted Tales from Shakespeare by Richard Armour

Feel free to psychoanalyze me in the comments section for what my choices say about my deepest fears or other nonsense.


Jessica Snell said...

I have no real arguments with your list, but let me add a few more favorites:

"How could I have died and gone to hell and not have noticed the transition?" -"Borders of Infinity", Bujold.

"What country, friends, is this?" -"Twelfth Night", Shakespeare

"The glorious city of God is the theme of my work." -The City of God, St. Augustine

And, of course, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." -St. John

Herch said...

Borders of Infinity barely missed the cut.

And isn't "If music be the food of love, play on..." the first line of Twelfth Night?

Jessica Snell said...

Oh, probably! It's where the story starts in my head, shut up! ;)

Herch said...

To be fair, I think that's where the story should start. That's where the David Tennant radio version started (after the "Sebastian!" "Viola!" "Sebastian!" prologue) and that's where we started it when I did it back in Texas, but for some reason Willy really wanted to start with that goober Orsino instead.

Jessica Snell said...

Rowling, Shakespeare . . . even great authors need editors.