Iconic Opening Lines

Created on December 7, 2023, 4:39 pm

Last Updated February 14, 2024, 10:30 am

You're not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but what about its opening line?
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“Killing someone is easy. Hiding the body, now that’s the hard part. That’s how you get caught.”
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“Ships at a distance have every man’s wish on board. For some they come in with the tide. For others, they sail forever on the horizon, never out of sight, never landing until the watcher turns his eyes away in resignation, his dreams mocked to death by Time.”
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"It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn't know what I was doing in New York."
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"You are a fingerprint. When you open your eyes on the last day of your life, you see your own thumb."
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"No live organism can continue for long to exist under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream."
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“First, a memory: The hillside set ablaze, the fire playing a game of hopscotch across the canyon.”
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“There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife.”
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"A screaming comes across the sky."
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“The king stood in a pool of blue light, unmoored.”
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"'The King is dead. Long live the Queen.' The announcer's voice crackles from the wireless and winds around the rapt patrons of Berlin's Milk Bar as sinuously as the fog curls around the mournful street lamps, their wan glow barely illuminating the cobblestones."
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11) Beloved
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"124 was spiteful. Full of a baby's venom. The women in the house knew it and so did the children."
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12) Crash
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“Vaughan died yesterday in his last car-crash.”
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"Mother died today. Or maybe, yesterday; I can't be sure."
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14) Babbitt
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“The towers of Zenith aspired above the morning mist; austere towers of steel and cement and limestone, sturdy as cliffs and delicate as silver rods.”
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“They say when trouble comes close ranks, and so the white people did.’
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“At night I would lie in bed and watch the show, how bees squeezed through the cracks of my bedroom wall and flew circles around the room, making that propeller sound, a high-pitched zzzzzz that hummed along my skin.”
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“It was inevitable: the scent of bitter almonds always reminded him of the fate of unrequited love.”
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"Your house glows at night like everything inside is on fire."
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"There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it."
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“Happy families are all alike; unhappy families are all unhappy in their own way."
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