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Old 04-08-07, 07:10 AM   #1
DrRingDing
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Best Opening Lines

So what are your favorite opening lines to your favorite (or possibly your not-so-favorite) novels?

As a supplement to the thread, here's an online "opening lines" quiz:

Opening Lines Quiz

10/13 for me, with some correct and incorrect guesses. I actually knew about 7 or 8 of them.

-ringding-
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Old 04-08-07, 10:50 AM   #2
djmont
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I got 10/13 as well. I was surprised that I knew so many.

Ross Thomas wrote some of my favorite opening lines.

From Chinaman's Chance:

"It was while jogging along the beach just east of the Paradise Cove pier that Artie Wu tripped over a dead pelican, fell, and met the man with six greyhounds."
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Old 04-08-07, 03:30 PM   #3
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9/13 - not quite as good, but I knew most of them at least.
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Old 04-08-07, 05:29 PM   #4
PalmerJoss
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My all-time favorite opening line:

"The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.", taken from Stephen King's The Gunslinger
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Old 04-08-07, 05:46 PM   #5
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9/13. Grrr.

One I've often seen cited is:
Quote:
The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel...
Spoiler:
William Gibsonís opening line of Neuromancer

Last edited by benedict; 04-08-07 at 06:04 PM.
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Old 04-08-07, 05:55 PM   #6
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"A perfect morning in a city of perfect mornings, an artist would have worked a god would have rested." - T. Jefferson Parker's Laguna Heat
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Old 04-08-07, 06:26 PM   #7
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"The penis will be obsolete within 5 years."
John Varley's Steel Beach

7/13
I missed #8, which I checked out from the library on Thursday but havent' read yet.
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Old 04-08-07, 10:03 PM   #8
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It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
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Old 04-08-07, 10:27 PM   #9
Mordred
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PalmerJoss
My all-time favorite opening line:

"The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.", taken from Stephen King's The Gunslinger
+1
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Old 04-09-07, 04:30 AM   #10
DrRingDing
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jadow
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
You obviously didn't take the quiz...





-ringding-
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Old 04-09-07, 05:44 AM   #11
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Howard Roark laughed.

For some reason, this one has always stuck with me. No clue why.
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Old 04-09-07, 07:48 AM   #12
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8/13.
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Old 04-09-07, 11:20 AM   #13
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We were just outside of Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold...
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Old 04-09-07, 01:07 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PalmerJoss
My all-time favorite opening line:

"The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.", taken from Stephen King's The Gunslinger
Mine as well.
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Old 04-09-07, 01:26 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PalmerJoss
My all-time favorite opening line:

"The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.", taken from Stephen King's The Gunslinger
My favorite also.
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Old 04-12-07, 04:59 AM   #16
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11/13

"The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel."

It really jumped out at me when I first read the book.

I'm also fond of

"In a hole in the ground lived a Hobbit."
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Old 04-12-07, 10:03 PM   #17
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7/13

How about:
"It was the year when they finally immanentized the Eschaton."

Spoiler:
The Illuminatus! Trilogy, Book 1: The Eye in the Pyarmid
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Old 04-13-07, 09:57 AM   #18
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I got 10/13.
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Old 04-13-07, 04:55 PM   #19
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10/13 for me.
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Old 04-13-07, 05:19 PM   #20
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Old 04-13-07, 08:58 PM   #21
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6/13

Another great opening line:

"A screaming comes across the sky." - Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon
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Old 04-13-07, 09:43 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FM
Howard Roark laughed.

For some reason, this one has always stuck with me. No clue why.
Who is John Gault?
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Old 04-15-07, 09:34 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jadow
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
Which is it? The best? Or worst? Makes no sense! That's one of the best opening lines? (I'm paraphrasing a Cheers episode,which I found to be hilarious)
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Old 04-15-07, 09:52 AM   #24
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"In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort."

...5/13...I think I need to read more...
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Old 04-15-07, 10:59 AM   #25
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9/13 - I should have gotten "The drought had lasted now for ten million years, and the reign of the terrible lizards had long since ended." right, but I couldn't place it out of context. Felt like kicking myself when I read the right answer.


Here's one that always haunts me:

"The angel lay in a little thicket. It had no need of love; there was nothing anywhere in the world could startle it- we can lie here with the angel if we like; it couldn't have hurt much when they slit its throat."

-'The Journal of Albion Moonlight' by Kenneth Patchen
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