The best first lines from literature

Here are some of my favourite first lines from literature which just happen to be from some of my favourite books. If you like the first line then I guarantee you’ll love the rest of the book.



I write this sitting in the kitchen sink.

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.

Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell

The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.

The Go Between by L.P.Hartley

The final dying sounds of their dress rehearsal left the Laurel Players with nothing to do but stand there, silent and helpless, blinking out over the footlights of an empty auditorium.

Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates

The studio was filled with the rich odour of roses, and when the light summer wind stirred amidst the trees of the garden, there came through the open door the heavy scent of the lilac, or the more delicate perfume of the pink-flowering thorn.

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

If you are interested in stories with happy endings, you would be better off reading some other book.

A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket, Daniel Handler

There was no possibility of taking a walk that day.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.

Marley was dead, to begin with.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Ten days after the war ended, my sister Laura drove a car off a bridge.

The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood

The snow in the mountains was melting and Bunny had been dead for several weeks before we understood the gravity of our situation.

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

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