50 Memorable Opening Lines In Fiction Books

A list created by: Lee Sonogan

Image result for opening book lines

The first words in chapter one in any book may or break the curious reader from committing to reading the whole thing. There is a long history of books with interesting opening lines. They set exactly what it is about to be set in motion without giving out too much information. For my first fiction book opening lines scroll down to the last paragraph in this list to read it.

1. “All this happened, more or less.”Slaughterhouse-Five

2. “The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.” – The Go-Between

3. “Ships at a distance have every man’s wish on board,” – Their Eyes Were watching God

4. “The stranger came early in February, one wintry day, through a biting wind and a driving snow, the last snowfall of the year, over the down, walking as it seemed from bramblehurst railway station, and carrying a little portmanteau in his thickly gloved hand.” – The Invisible Man

5. “My suffering left me sad and gloomy,” – Life of Pi

6. “The snow in the mountains was melting and Bunny had been dead for several weeks before we came to understand the gravity of our situation.”The Secret History

7. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had
everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way.
– A Tale Of Two Cities

8. “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.” – The Hobbit

9. “The drought had lasted now for ten million years, and the reign of the terrible lizards had long since ended.” – 2001 A Space Odyssey

10. “Time is not a line but a dimension, like the dimensions of space.” – Cat’s Eye

11. “They shoot the white girl first.” – Paradise

12. “A green hunting cap squeezed the top of the fleshy balloon of a head.” – A Confederacy Of Dunces

13. “The sky above the port was the colour of television, tuned to a dead channel.”Neuromancer

14. “We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold.” – Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

15. “It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.” – 1984

16. “Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the galaxy lies a small, unregarded yellow sun.” The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

17. “I’m Pretty much fucked.” The Martian

18. “It was a pleasure to burn.” Fahrenheit 451

19. “When I stepped out into the bright sunlight from the darkness of the movie house, I had only two thing on my mind: Paul Newman and a ride home.” – The Outsiders

20. “A screaming comes across the sky.” – Gravity’s Rainbow

21.“The time traveler (for so it will be convenient to speak of him) was expounding a recondite matter to us.” – The Time Machine

22. “Call me Ishmael.”Moby-Dick

23. “If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.” The Catcher in the Rye

25 “That was me, that is Alex, and my three droogs, that is Pete, Georgie and Dim, Dim being really dim, and we sat in the Korova Milkbar making up our rassoodocks what to do with the evening, a flip dark chill winter bastard through dry.” – A Clockwork Orange

26. “When I wake up, the other side of the bed is cold,” – The Hunger Games

27. “I write this sitting in the kitchen sink.” – I Capture the Castle

28. “The Story so Far: In the beginning the Universe was created.” – The Restaurant At The End OF The Universe

29. “We started dying before the snow, and like the snow, we continued to fall.” Tracks

30. “I am a sick man… I am a spiteful man.” – Note From Underground

31. “It was the day my grandmother exploded.” – The Crow Road

32. “He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad.” – Scaramouche: A Romance Of The French Revolution

33. “Mother died today.” The Stranger

34. “This is a tale of a meeting of two lonesome, skinny, fairly old men on a planet which was dying fast,” – Breakfast of Champions

35. “Jack Torrance thought: Officious little prick.” – The Shining

36. “The human race, to which so many of my readers belong, has been playing at children’s games from the beginning, and will probably do it till the end, which is a nuisance for the few people who grow up.” – The Napoleon of Notting Hill

37. “On those cloudy days, Robert Neville was never sure when sunset came, and sometimes they were in the streets before he could get back.” I Am Legend

38. “When the blind man arrived in the city, he claimed that he had travelled across a desert of living sand.” – The Brief History Of The Dead

39. “You better not never tell nobody but God.” The Colour Purple

40. “The Moment one learns English, complications set in.” – Chromos

41. “It was now lunch time and they were all sitting under the double green fly of the dining tent pretending that nothing had happened.” – The Short Happy Life of Frances Macomber

42. “There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.” – The Voyage Of The Dawn Teacher

43. “This is my favourite book in all the world, though I have never read it.” – The Princess Bride

44. “Justice? You get Justice in the next world, in this world you have the law.” – A Frolic Of His Own

45. “In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.” The Great Gatsby

46. “If you are interested in stories with happy endings, you would be better off reading some
other book.”
– A Series of Unfortunate Events

47.. “The year 1866 was signalized by a remarkable incident, a mysterious and inexplicable phenomenon which doubtless no one has yet forgotten,” – Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea

48. “Somewhere in la Mancham in a place whose name I do not care to remember, a gentleman lived not long ago, one of those who has a lance and ancient shield on a shelf and keeps a skinny nag and a greyhound for racing,” – Don Quixote

49. “The sun shone having no alternative on the nothing new,” – Murphy

50. “I am a camera with its shutter open, quite passive, recording not thinking,” – Goodbye To Berlin

What do you think of my opening lines of my first fiction book? “What is this, where am I … who am I?” thought the man wearing a suit jacket and jeans, who is awakened up by the waves of the ocean. Decent but does not give to much details into the story like some listed in this above. Like this post if you want to read 50 More Book Opening Lines or 50 Book Ending Lines.



Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.