First Lines From Novels

Photo by Casey West on Flickr
I found this really cool blog that has nothing but first lines from novels.

At first, I didn’t think much of it, but the more I looked through their first lines, the more I liked the site. They feature the opening lines from both new, modern day novels and classical novels.

I think I’ve mentioned somewhere on here that I was an English major, so I love to read.

Often, the opening line from a novel often sets the pace for the rest of the story. By the way, reading that blog, brought back some memories and not just of the stories in the novels, but also of what was going on in my life at the time that I was reading them.

Obviously, I need to improve my writing, but I love reading things like this:

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.

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

And also things like this:

I had the story, bit by bit, from various people, and, as generally happens in such cases, each time it was a different story.

Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton

And, probably my favorite modern day writer:

I sent one boy to the gaschamber at Huntsville.

No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy

Cormac McCarthy just has a way of drawing you into his novels.


Rafael is an aviation geek, a consumer advocate, a dad, a multiple personality blogger, a photographer, politically opinionated, a videographer and many other things as well.