Forget those boring guides to the best opening lines in books compiled by cruds who either draw solely on canonical literary novels and/or recent bestsellers. This is the real deal and I haven’t restricted myself to book length works either!
1. “I probably never would have become America’s leading fire-eater if Flamo the Great hadn’t happened to explode that night in front of Krinko’s Great Combined Carnival Side Shows.” Daniel P. Mannix Memoirs Of A Sword Swallower.
2. “A spectre is haunting Europe — the spectre of communism.” Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels The Communist Manifesto.
3. “When I was nine years old I burned down my school.” James Carr Bad.
4. “When I was 40 I decided I wanted to meet my (m)other.” Stewart Home Tainted Love.
5. “The first time I ever laid eyes on the fabled novelty item known as Leaping Panty Hose, I felt my third, or inner, eye pop open on a glowing sphere of revelation that seemed as miraculous as it was coincidental.” Blaster Al Ackerman Revelation of the Leaping Panty Hose.
6. “A man called Berg, who changed his name to Greb, came to a seaside town intending to kill his father.” Ann Quin Berg.
7. “At some point, almost everyone asks me how I first made the connection between speech therapy and oral sex.” Marcy Michaels Blow Him Away: How to Give Him Mind-Blowing Oral Sex.
8. “I wish either my father or my mother, or indeed both of them, as they were in duty both equally bound to it, had minded what they were about when they begot me; had they duly consider’d how much depended upon what they were then doing;–that not only the production of a rational Being was concerned in it, but that possibly the happy formation and temperature of his body, perhaps his genius and the very cast of his mind;–and, for aught they knew to the contrary, even the fortunes of his whole house might take their turn from the humours and dispositions which were then uppermost;–had they duly weighed and considered all this, and proceeded accordingly,–I am verily persuaded I should have made a quite different figure in the world, from that in which the reader is likely to see me.” Laurence Sterne The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman.
9. “Now the shadow of the column – the column that supports the south-west corner of the roof – divides the corresponding corner of the veranda into two equal parts.” Alain Robbe-Grillet Jealousy.
10. ” ‘Victory! It flies! I am master of the Powers of the Air at last!’ They were strange words to be uttered, as they were, by a pale, haggard, half-starved looking young fellow in a dingy, comfortless room on the top floor of a South London tenement-house; and yet there was a triumphant ring in his voice, and a clear, bright flush on his thin cheeks that spoke at least for his own absolute belief in their truth. ” George Griffith The Angel of the Revolution.
And while you’re at it don’t forget to check – www.stewarthomesociety.org – you know it makes (no) sense!