the green fields beyond


Location: Charles City, Virginia, United States

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The Hook...

I love the feeling of opening a book for the first time...that sense of anticipation, wondering where this new story will take me. It's downright addictive. And though some good books take a while to unfold, many of the best will have a certain something in their very first lines, a bright lure to draw me further in.
So here, in no particular order, are a few of the opening lines that have hooked me...

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.
Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Mama died today. Or yesterday maybe, I don't know.
Albert Camus, The Stranger

Once upon a time, in a gloomy castle on a lonely hill, where there were thirteen clocks that wouldn't go, there lived a cold, aggressive Duke, and his niece, the Princess Saralinda. She was warm in every wind and weather, but he was always cold.
James Thurber, The Thirteen Clocks

The news hit the British High Commission in Nairobi at nine-thirty on a Monday morning. Sandy Woodrow took it like a bullet, jaw rigid, chest out, smack through his divided English heart.
John Le Carre, The Constant Gardener

There was once a boy named Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.
C.S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Scarlett O'Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were.
Margaret Mitchell, Gone With the Wind

Tyler gets me a job as a waiter, after that Tyler's pushing a gun in my mouth and saying, the first step to eternal life is you have to die.
Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.
George Orwell, 1984.

Enough from my bookshelf. Come on, send in some of YOUR favorites!



Fun post! You already had some of my favorites. The "Eustace Scrub.." one from Lewis may be unsurpassed in the history of the English novel, IMHO.

Of course there's...

"Call me Ishmael" Moby Dick

"Not long after I moved with my family to a small town in New Hampshire I happened upon a path that vanished into a wood on the edge of town." A Walk in the Woods - Bill Bryson

I wanted to quote some Buechner, but I think all his novels are now hidden behind theology books on our overtaxed shelves.

7:37 PM  


“I am doomed to remember a boy with a wrecked voice----not because of his voice, or because he was the smallest person I ever knew, or even because he was the instrument of my mother’s death, but because he is the reason I believe in God; I am a Christian because of Owen Meany.” A Prayer for Owen Meany, John Irving

"It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn't know what I was doing in New York." The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath

"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." Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man, James Joyce

8:11 PM  

"A cow says 'moo.'"

Moo, Baa, La La La
Sandra Boynton

8:24 AM  

I agree with the Joyce quote.

"And then went down to the ship,
Set keel to breakers, forth on the godly sea, and
We set up mast and sail on that swart ship,
Bore sheep aboard her, and our bodies also
Heavy with weeping, and winds from sternward
Bore us out onward with bellying canvas,
Circe's this craft, the trim-coifed goddess." Cantos - Ezra Pound

8:59 AM  

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3:23 AM  

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