Monday, February 06, 2006

"100 best first lines from novels"

Following is a list of the 100 best first lines from novels, as decided by the American Book Review, a nonprofit journal published at the Unit for Contemporary Literature at Illinois State University:

1. Call me Ishmael. -- Herman Melville, Moby-Dick (1851)

3. A screaming comes across the sky. — Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow (1973)

30. The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel. — William Gibson, Neuromancer (1984)

38. All this happened, more or less. — Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five (1969)

41. The moment one learns English, complications set in. — Felipe Alfau, Chromos (1990)

53. It was a pleasure to burn. — Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451 (1953)

81. Vaughan died yesterday in his last car-crash. — J. G. Ballard, Crash (1973)

92. He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad. — Raphael Sabatini, Scaramouche (1921)

93. Psychics can see the color of time it's blue. — Ronald Sukenick, Blown Away (1986)

100. The cold passed reluctantly from the earth, and the retiring fogs revealed an army stretched out on the hills, resting. — Stephen Crane, The Red Badge of Courage (1895)

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