First lines of a book are meant to grab our attention. Sometimes they are beautiful, sometimes they are poetic, sometimes they are like any other innocent sentence – hiding the power of the story behind their everyday facade.
Here are the first lines from some of the books that I bought recently during my book-buying-binge 🙂
“I write this sitting in the kitchen sink.” – From ‘I Capture the Castle’ by Dodie Smith
(Comment : The introduction says that this “became one of the most memorable opening lines in twentieth-century fiction”. Notice the fact that it says “in the kitchen sink” and not “on the kitchen sink”)
“Indian summer is like a woman. Ripe, hotly passionate, but fickle, she comes and goes as she pleases so that one is never sure whether she will come at all, nor for how long she will stay.” – From ‘Peyton Place’ by Grace Metalious
(Comment : Isn’t that really an awesomely attractive first line? And doesn’t that give you a big clue to what the story is about?)
“We had stayed away until the demolition was complete. This was the way we had planned it.” – From ‘In the Country of Deceit’ by Shashi Deshpande
(Comment : What a first line! Makes one want to read the next one :))
“Waking up begins with saying am and now.” – From ‘A Single Man’ by Christopher Isherwood
(Comment : The rest of the lines in the first page all go like this. Can’t wait to read this book!)
“When he was nearly thirteen my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow.” – From ‘To Kill a Mocking Bird’ by Harper Lee
(Comment : That looks like an innocent opening line, trying to hide the story behind an anonymous facade).