The Classics Club – June Meme Question #11

The Classics Club Monthly Meme

The Classics Club Monthly Meme

The Classics Club monthly meme is another way to bring members of The Classics Club together.

The meme question for this month is:

What is your favorite opening sentence from a classic novel (and why)?

There are so many favorites that are so prominent and well-loved, and already covered by other bloggers in response to this meme question.

One of my favorite opening lines is from A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens that is covered by It’s All About Books. Then there is this infamously famous opening line from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen that is I am sure covered by many bloggers…

It is universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.

And then of course, Rebecca by Daphne duMaurier…this opening line is so much embedded into my brain that I didn’t have to look it up or anything. I just typed it in straight out :).

Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.

Just last month however, I read this classic – One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. This was a book that I was reluctant to read. I picked it up from the shelf only because of a lack of any other reading choice. And then, and then, I read this sentence…

Many years later, as he faced the firing squad Colonel Aureliano was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.

And I couldn’t stop reading. It was the perfect bait to reel in a reluctant reader like me and I ended up enjoying the book thoroughly. It just goes to show how a perfect opening line can really sell a book.

What do you think? Would you have got sucked in by that opening line from One Hundred Years of Solitude?

What are your favorite opening lines from books? Go ahead and share in the comments. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a classic.

7 Responses
  • Melinda
    June 20, 2013

    I love that opening line in Rebecca! I love the novel too! 🙂

  • Colonel Buendia’s discovery of ice caught me with a cranehook ten years ago 🙂 but what do you think of the opening line of Love in the Time of Cholera?

    “It was inevitable: the scent of bitter almonds always reminded him of the fate of unrequited love.”

    • Nish
      June 12, 2013

      @Amritorupa: That’s a very good line. I don’t know why I didn’t think of it. I guess my overall impression of the book was pretty meh. I found the beginning terribly dull. It’s only once he starts having affairs left, right, and center, that I started enjoying the book 🙂

      I gather it’s one of your favorites?

  • Kshitij Rawat
    June 12, 2013

    “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.”

    • Nish
      June 12, 2013

      @Kshitij: That’s a great one 🙂

  • lynnsbooks
    June 12, 2013

    There was a hand in the dark…. it held a knife. Neil Gaiman’s Graveyard Book.
    Love most of the quotes above. The one you’ve chosen definitely has a hook – you have to know how he ended up in front of a firing squad!
    Lynn 😀

    • Nish
      June 12, 2013

      @Lynn: The Graveyard Book…that’s a great starting line 🙂

      I know…that line hooked me. It wasn’t just the story of how he ended up in front of a firing squad, but also the importance of the ice. Why would you be thinking of ice (of all the things) when you are going to die?

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