Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Authors everywhere sit anxiously, chewing their pens, brainstorming the perfect hook that will catch their readers at first glance and not let them go until the final page: the first line of their book. Maybe you don't judge a book by its cover, but a reader can tell a lot about a story from simply reading the first sentence. Classics such as George Orwell's 1984 begin with, "It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen." Or observe how beloved C.S. Lewis captured his readers in Voyage of the Dawn Treader, "There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it." Here are a few of our favorite first-liners from this year' s fiction:

"That Wednesday two weeks before Thanksgiving was a bad day to find a corpse on campus..." -Rhapsody in Red by Donn Taylor

"There on the damp pine needles Kirsten Young lay on her back, a serene Ophelia in her dusky pond of blood..."-Latter-Day Cipher by Latayne C. Scott

"Our worst spring storm broke on the edge of midnight, a river thrown from the sky..."-I Have Seen Him in the Watchfires by Cathy Gohlke

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