Monday, June 17, 2013

My Favorite Opening Line: The Classics Club June Meme

Frankly speaking, I don’t usually pay too much attention to books’ opening lines. It is the closing line that is usually more memorable for me. If the later were the task for this month’s The Classics Club monthly meme, I would instantly have posted my answer, as there is indeed one closing line that I like to read again and again—I’ll keep that to myself to make you more curious, and who knows…CCP might bring that subject as our future meme topic? :)

So, unfortunately, this month’s meme topic is:

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

And that made me think a bit harder to find the one perfect answer. There were several opening lines popped in my head (not before I refreshed my memory via the internet, though..):

“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.”
A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens

“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, F. Scott Fitzgerald

“You better not never tell nobody but God.''
The Color Purple, Alice Walker

“124 was spiteful.”
Beloved, Toni Morrison

Why do those quotes likeable to me? Maybe because they represent each of the book’s soul perfectly, as if whenever we read those lines, we would instantly remember the emotion each of the books has set us when we read them.

But still, I cannot find any favorite from them just yet. Maybe, the one opening line from book that has the strongest effect upon me would always be…..

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."
The Bible

Yes, it’s not a novel as required by the meme, so maybe it doesn’t really answer the meme, but it is my favorite opening line from any book I’ve ever read. It always takes my imagination to something I would never see nor experience; something far from any wild imaginations. It brings such a divine feeling, I think.


What about you, what is your favorite novel opening line?  


  1. The Bible starts and ends with beautiful quotes, indeed. :D

  2. Hi Fanda,
    The first line that I can think of at the moment is:
    “The life must be lived before the history of a life can be written, hence it is not my life that I am writing.”
    By the French romantic poet, novelist, and dramatist Alfred de Musset (1810-1857), in his semi-autobiographical novel “The Confession of a Child of the Century” (La Confession d'un enfant du siècle), which was shaped by his failed and badly-ended affair with the French writer and feminist George Sand (Amantine Lucile Aurore Dupin, later Baroness Dudevant). In this book he retell his love story with her from his own perspective. On the other hand, George Sand wrote about the relation from her perspective in her book (She & He),

    I like it because I really believe that how to live is an art, which might be learned. I really believe that sometimes we are deceived by thinking that we know how to live.

    1. Interesting line! Yeah, many of us just flow with life, fail to fill it with more valuable things.

  3. Who cares that it's not a novel, it's the best of the best opening lines ever written :)

  4. I love that opening line from Beloved. I'd forgotten about it when I was answering this meme question. My answer also included A Tale of Two Cities - such a classic opening line :)

    1. Agree, A Tale of Two Cities is the most memorable opening line after all. I think a lot of us include this in their meme (although I haven't read all of them...)


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