FAMOUS FIRST SENTENCES

There's something powerful about beginnings.

“Torrents of rain covered the western side of the great Tranh mountain range of Altair, streaming in muddy runnels down slopes already saturated with nine days of steady precipitation.”

—   The Rowan by Anne McCaffrey

“Once upon a time there were four little Rabbits, and their names were —
Flopsy,
Mopsy,
Cotton-tail,
and Peter.”

—   The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter

“Blackeberg.”

—   Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist

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“The afternoon before I left London for New York—Rachel had flown out six weeks previously—I was in my cubicle at work, boxing up my possessions, when a senior vice president at the bank, an Englishman in his fifties, came to wish me well.”

—   Netherland by Joseph O’Neill

“A grey wolf fell into conversation with a tarantula.”

—   J by Howard Jacobson

“On the steps of the old Mission house, the sergeant sat with the boy who called himself Robin, and watched a pigeon being swallowed by a pelican.”

—   Tigerman by Nick Harkaway

“From July of his sophomore year of college until the following January, all Tsukuru Tazaki could think about was dying.”

—   Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami

“I fling open my bedroom curtains, and there’s the thirsty sky and the wide river full of ships and boats and stuff, but I’m already thinking of Vinny’s chocolate eyes, shampoo down Vinny’s back, beads of sweat on Vinny’s shoulders, and Vinny’s sly laugh, and by now my heart’s going mental and, God, I wish I was waking up at Vinny’s place in Peacock Street and not in my own stupid bedroom.”

—   The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell

“A very, terribly long time ago, before such things as television and good table manners or even children, ferocious monsters roamed a younger, angrier world.”

—   The Last Basselope by Berkeley Breathed