Tuesday 27 April 2010

A hundred great opening sentences

of novels, as collected by American Book Review, can be read here. If there are any you consider missing, I'd be grateful if you posted them as a comment on this post--I'd be delighted to read them.

1 comment:

  1. I suppose most of the obvious classics are there, but also a lot of turgid stuff that might put me off reading further.
    A few favourites of mine that are missing:

    "Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun." - Douglas Adams, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy

    "When a day that you happen to know is Wednesday starts off by sounding like Sunday, there is something seriously wrong somewhere." - John Wyndham, Day of the Triffids

    "Imo set out one day to catch some fish but there was no sea." - Terry Pratchett, Nation

    "Not everybody knows how I killed old Phillip Mathers, smashing his jaw in with my spade." - Flann O'Brien, The Third Policeman

    " 'Where is he?' " - Susan Cooper, Over Sea Under Stone

    I'm also startled, especially in a list so dominated by American writers, to see no Steinbeck. And what does the absence of Chandler or that master of the opening line Elmore Leonard tell us?