8/7/07

What Are Your Favorite Opening Lines In a Novel?




Last week, I decided to ask a different question in a post every Tuesday, choose what I thought were the best ones, and lick back to the blogs with the best comments. Everyone was a great sport especially my good friends who took the time to give well written answers! The comments from Sandee at Comedy Plus, Jos at NoDirectOn(not:NoDirection) and Winston at Eat Your Maths were spectacular ! These bloggers did a great job, and deserve a really nice place in the sun! However it is now your turn! All you have to do is answer the following question in comments!

I will judge the authors answers on effort, style, originality, and phrasing! However, since this particular question pertains to a literary quote, the judging will only include original idea and effort !

I can't wait to see the talent roll in! Good luck and Thank you !

The best answers will post tomorrow along with a link back, comment on your response, and small review of your blog! This Tuesdays Question is:

What are your favorite opening lines in fiction? You can pick any novel it does not have to be a classic.

Here are mine from The Prince Of Tides, by Pat Conroy


"My wound is geography. It is also my anchorage, my port of call. I grew up slowly beside the tides and marshes of Colleton; my arms were tawny and strong from working long days on the shrimp boat in the blazing South Carolina heat."



In an effort to maintain a level of apprehension and excitement, I've limited the best or winning selections to three. In other words, only three comments will be posted with a link and blog review, so choose your lines carefully! And thank you for playing! :))

If you have any questions at all please feel free to ask in my comments. :))


22 comments:

Jos said...

Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007), Welcome to the Monkey House:

"So Pete Crocker, the sheriff of Barnstable County, which was the whole of Cape Cod, came into the Federal Ethical Suicide Parlor in Hyannis one May afternoon - and he told the two six-foot Hostesses there that they weren't to be alarmed, but that a notorious nothinghead named Billy the Poet was believed headed for the Cape."

mr fong said...

Wow your blog's concept rocks.Haha I am proud of you Ann.

OK I like books in fiction that whets my appetite at the first opportunity, by creating suspense. Starting with a gory image, or negative foreshadowing will whet my appetite to read on...

"Matt Freeman knew he was making a mistake."

Raven's Gate, by Anthony Horowitz.

Hope you have read that book,I am sorry im not adept at answering this question as Im greedy, I want the whole chapter to whet my appetite! LOL.

Take care,this is a nice place in the sun.

Blog Author Ann Clemmons said...

What a treat! Thank you Jos! :))))

Ann

Ellen said...

O my.. I can't choose between the following two... I'll let you make the choice ;-)..

"Other than life, a strong constitution and a lasting bond to the Thembu-royal family, the only thing my father gave me at birth was a name, Rolihlahla. In Xhosa this literally means 'he who pulls branches from the trees', but more popularly it means 'troublemaker'.
I don't believe that names determine fate or that my father in any way predicted my future, but many years later family and friends would attribute the many storms that I either caused or endured to my birth name. My better known English first name was given to me on my first day of school..."

"On the banks of the Piedra I sat, and I cried. According to a legend, everything that falls into the Piedra - leaves, bugs, bird's feathers - will turn into rocks. I wish I could rip my heart out of my chest and throw it into the river, for then I would feel no more hurt, no more desire, and have no more memories."

Blog Author Ann Clemmons said...

I see why it was a difficult choice.

Go with the latter! I have a lack for the appropriate word this early in the morning for such a wonderful passage, but I adore it.


Don't forget to let me know who it is and where it came from, it is a great selection!

Ann

Ellen said...

Ann, the first one is from Nelson Mandela's autobiography "No Easy Walk to Freedom".
The second is from my favorite writer (though that almost feels disrespectful to say given the previous one..): Paulo Coelho, from his book 'By the River Piedra, I Sat Down and Wept'

Blog Author Ann Clemmons said...

Thank you Ellen. I will enter "By the River Piedra, I Sat Down and Wept" Paul Coelho.

Both of them are wonderful suggestions. I 'm glad I decided to ask this question, I'm having a great time reading all of these wonderful passages! Thank you Ellen! :))

Ann

bobbarama said...

In the Company of the Courtesan ... by Sarah Dunant.

I bought this book after reading the opening line:

"My lady Fiammetta Bianchini was plucking her eyebrows and biting color into her lips when the unthinkable happened and the Holy Roman Emperor's army blew a hole in the wall of God's eternal city, letting in a flood of half-starved, half-crazed troops bent on pillage and punishment."

It picked up from there.

:)

Blog Author Ann Clemmons said...

Bobbarama, I'm going to get it!

Excellent choice!

Ann

Thanks for playing! :)

"biting color into her lips" wow!

Blog Author Ann Clemmons said...

Winston! I'm sorry I just saw your comment back there!

Great selection! I have not read that title, however I most certainly will have a nice library list by the end of today!

Your comments make blogging worthwhile! I appreciate you!

Ann

Jos said...

And for the 'originality':

Tuman Capote, Children on Their Birtdays.

"Yesterday afternoon the six-o'clock bus ran over Miss Bobbit. I'm not sure what there is to be said about it; after all, she was only ten years old, still I know no one of us in this town will forget her. For one thing, nothing she ever did was ordinary, not from the first time that we saw her, and that was a year ago. Miss Bobbit and her mother, they arrived on that same six-o'clock bus, the one that comes from Mobile.

Jos said...

And oh I just can't stop ;) Another great opening from another great short story:

W.S. Merwin - Sand

"An ant was born in an hourglass. Before it hached out there was nothing to notice - and who would have looked, who would have expected tha one instant in each measure of time was an egg? And after the ant had emerged, it was too late to ask whether the birth was a mistake. Anyway, there was no one to ask, except those nameless hosts, his brothers, a once much older and much younger than he was, who nudged and ground past him, rustling toward the neck of he glass, and fell, and lay blind, deaf, and dreamless in the mountain made of each other, and would never hatch, though the mountain itself turned over again and again and sent them smoking down from its tip like souls into time."

Blog Author Ann Clemmons said...

Originality Jos?

I love Truman Capote's short stories. Although, I could never get through In Cold Blood.

Thanks for another contribution Jos!

I should have put a limit on the amount turned in LOL!

Ann

Blog Author Ann Clemmons said...

Jos, Yes it is addictive isn't it? LOL! I'm only counting your first contribution crazy man!:))

Ann

Jen said...

Graham, Kenneth
Wind in the Willows

"The Mole had been working very hard all morining, spring cleaning his little home. First with brooms, then with dusters; then on ladders and steps and chairs, with a brush and a pail of whitewash until he had dust in his throat and eyes and splashes of whiteash all over his black fur and an aching back and weary arms. Spring was moving in the air above and in the earth below and around him, penetrating even his dark and lowly little home with its spirit of divine discontent and longing. It was little wonder, then, that he suddenly flung down his brush on the floor, said 'BOTHER!' and 'O BLOW!' and also 'HANG SPRING CLEANING!' and bolted out of the house without even waiting to put on his coat."

Jos said...

Ann, well... you DID ask for opening lineS... ;-)
Anyway, you should really keep me out of the competition today and put somebody else's choice in your follow-up post. I've been there already..
It was just so much fun to try and find three openings in great american short stories that - put together - might say a bit about me and about what I like to find in good books in terms of Imagination Boosting.
Thanks for today's question, I think I'll do a post on my "Ogendicht" blog about my 3 choices.
Jos

Blog Author Ann Clemmons said...

Jos, What I meant was I limited the best answers to three! LOL! :))

In other words I'm only going to pick three "best" comments or winning posts, silly. I really enjoyed you selections though, and I will want to post them! :)))
I want to share all these great contributions from everyone really, but I do want to make my Tuesday questions exciting!
I guess I'll add an additional explanation at the end of the post.

Thanks Jos!

Ann

P.S. Plus you're right I know more about you now, which was the idea!

Ann

Christy said...

I actually have no answer for this one Ann, sorry, lol. It's usually the last lines of a book that I love and remember, I went searching through some of my favorite books and none of them had noteworthy opening lines. Maybe I'm just incredibly picky. If it's not poetic enough, forget it, lol. I love your blogging ideas, they are absolutely fantastic!! Keep up the great work:)

Blog Author Ann Clemmons said...

Oh Christy, That is so sweet! I also went through my books last night! I didn't want to write down anything obviously the best, or a classic. There are so many favorites. Did you see Jos responses? LOL! I laughed! Plus Ellen from The Non-Profit Communication blog. Although, Jos thought I was asking for three lines! It tortured him too! I didn't mean to torment my poetic friends.


Thanks for complimenting me on the idea! You know how you never know what your audience is thinking? My teeth are often clattering as I await a response from behind the blog! Thanks to a great bunch of readers like you its been fun! So far, so good, as long as I can keep coming up with the questions anyway! LOL!


Thanks for trying, the comment, and the support! :)) smile

Ann

Comedy + said...

Sorry I'm so late Ann... Here is one of many favorites.

James A. Michener

Mexico

I had been sent to Mexico to cover a murder, one of a remarkable kind. And since it had not yet happened, I had been ordered to get photographs, too.

Blog Author Ann Clemmons said...

I'm glad to see you Sandee, but now I'm really going to require my son's literary advice! Great choice!

Ann :))

Thanks for your continued support!

mr fong said...

Christy: You do have a point. This is why i take soooooo long to find a good starting- The ending is the sweetest,heh.

However no point posting endings as you guys might not have read it and it might spoil it...

Ann, yes the concept is brilliant, and i understand how u are nervoius behind the post hoping for comments.I am like that too,LOL.THought I was very rushed and too uptight but i suppose everyone's like that :)

Thank you for calming me down,HeH.I'm sorry I only gave such a short intro,really can't find of all the books I snatched out,take care! :)

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