The first chord of a novel can be a fruitful signal or an ill omen; maybe we can’t judge a book by its cover, but can we find the promises made by the first sentence of each of these 10 novels?
The stimulus of promise: 10 novels with perfect beginnings /
The first sentence of a novel is always a promise. It can be hypocritical, impossible or completely true. Reading the first sentence of a book is to attend its fulfillment or its betrayal. An opening line is also a decoy whose objective is seduction. Many books have been abandoned after a completely forgettable beginning. However, not every great beginning guarantees quality, but it’s practically infallible that a bad beginning is the omen of a bad work.
That is why the following sentences are not only valuable because of their individual beauty: they are wonderful decoys transformed into fulfilled promises.
“Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins”. Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita.
“Call me Ishmael”. Herman Melville, Moby Dick.
“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.” J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye.
“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.” Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities.
“All happy families resemble one another; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Leon Tolstoy, Anna Karenina.
“It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.” George Orwell 1984.
“—Crazy world— said a woman once, as if she was mimicking, as if she was translating it.” Juan Carlos Onetti, A Brief Life.
““The sun shone, having no alternative, on the nothing new.” Samuel Beckett, Murphy.
“It was a wrong number that started it, the telephone ringing three times in the dead of night, and the voice on the other end asking for someone he was not.” Paul Auster, City of Glass.
“Time is not a line but a dimension, like the dimensions of space. If you can bend space you can bend time also, and if you knew enough and could move faster than light you could travel backward in tie and exist in two places at once.” Margaret Atwood, Cat’s Eye.Tagged: books, novels, inspiration