Saturday, April 17, 2010

LMM: Famous First Lines

They may say that you can't judge a book by its cover - which is totally BS, as everybody who has ever worked in the publishing industry knows that that's really the only way people do judge books - but what about judging a book by its first line? As we move on in to the Sweet Sixteen of our Literary March Madness - which, if I'm lucky, will be finished by May - here's a sampling of some of our competitors best opening lines to help you in your voting wisdom and judgment:

"Call me Ishmael." - Herman Melville, Moby-Dick

"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

"Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." - Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

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

"Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself." - Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway

"Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board." - Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God

Can't have a famous and successful novel without that first line! More available for your perusing here. What other ones am I leaving out?

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