100 Best First Lines from Novels
#7 riverrun, past Eve and Adam's, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs. -James Joyce, Finnegans Wake (1939)
On the basis of this I can tell you with great confidence that I will never read this book.
#17 Once upon a time and a very good time it was there was a moocow coming down along the road and this moocow that was coming down along the road met a nicens little boy named baby tuckoo. -James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916)
Now I can tell you that I will never read James Joyce, period.
#21. Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed. -James Joyce, Ulysses (1922)
Oh. Maybe I’d try this one.
Two favorites from books I’ve read:
30. The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel. -William Gibson, Neuromancer (1984)
47. There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it. -C. S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (1952)
Two favorites from books I haven’t read:
58. Miss Brooke had that kind of beauty which seems to be thrown into relief by poor dress.-George Eliot, Middlemarch (1872)
76. "Take my camel, dear," said my Aunt Dot, as she climbed down from this animal on her return from High Mass.-Rose Macaulay, The Towers of Trebizond (1956)