Thursday, April 16, 2009

100 Greatest First Lines

This is perhaps only tangentially-related to the library, but it does have to do with books, and as such I just had to share. As I was browsing the Internet this morning, I came across this list of the 100 Best First Lines of Novels, as chosen by the editors of American Book Review (which, as it happens, is among the approximately 35,000 journals to which we have electronic access).

It's an interesting list, but I think the best aspect of a list like this is the debate it can inspire. I'm sure many bibliophiles have a favorite first line or two they think should be included. For example, where is "Scarlett O'Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were," or "Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again," or even "There are dragons in the twins' vegetable garden?" (Bonus points if you can name that book without Googling).

Check out the list if you wish, and then argue away!

1 comment:

John said...

The Nellie, a cruising yawl, swung to her anchor without a flutter of sails, and was at rest. Conrad, Heart of Darkness.

My lifelong involvement with Mrs. Dempster began at 5:58 o'clock p.m. on 27 December 1908, at which time I was ten years and seven months old. Robertson Davies, Fifth Business.

Howard Roark laughed./Who is John Galt? Ayn Rand, Fountainhead/Atlas Shrugged