Day 18 – My favourite opening lines of a book (30 Day Book Challenge #2)

Yes, I have changed Day 18. It was supposed to be a book that disappointed me, but honestly, I answered that on the Day 7 Underrated Book post and then again on Day 11’s A Book I hated, so I’m not answering pretty much the same thing for a third time (I can’t remember this list having so many negative posts in it, either).

So I changed today’s post to my favourite beginning of a book. I’m going to include a few favourite beginnings to books as well – let’s face it, that opening sentence or two can say so much about a book, and can make or break a potential reader’s opinion about the story. Enjoy!

  • From The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe by Douglas Adams:
    “The story so far:
    In the beginning the Universe was created.
    This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.”
  • From Catch 22 by Joseph Heller:
    “It was love at first sight.
    The first time Yossarian saw the chaplain he fell madly in love with him.
    Yossarian was in the hospital with a pain in his liver that fell just short of being jaundice. The doctors were puzzled by the fact that it wasn’t quite jaundice. If it became jaundice they could treat it. If it didn’t become jaundice and went away they could discharge him. But this just being short of jaundice all the time confused them.”
  • From Adolf Hitler: My Part In His Downfall by Spike Milligan:
    “September 3rd, 1939. The last minutes of peace ticking away. Father and I were watching Mother digging our air-raid shelter. ‘She’s a great little woman,’ said Father. ‘And getting smaller all the time,’ I added. Two minutes later, a man called Chamberlain who did Prime Minister impressions spoke on the wireless; he said, ‘As from eleven o’clock we are at war with Germany.’  ‘War?’ said Mother. ‘It must have been something we said,’ said Father. The people next door panicked, burnt their post office books and took in the washing.”
  • From An Abundance of Katherines by John Green:
    “The morning after noted child prodigy Colin Singleton graduated from high school and got dumped for the nineteenth time by a girl named Katherine, he took a bath.”
  • From Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernières:
    “Dr. Iannis had enjoyed a satisfactory day in which none of his patients had died or got any worse.”
  • From Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut:
    “All this happened, more or less.”
  • From The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka:
    “As Gregor Samsa awoke from a night of uneasy dreaming, he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect.”
  • From Love In The Time Of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez:
    “It was inevitable: the scent of bitter almonds always reminded him of the fate of unrequited love.”
  • From Life, The Universe and Everything by Douglas Adams:
    “The regular early morning yell of horror was the sound of Arthur Dent waking up and suddenly remembering where he was.”

What are your favourite opening lines from books? I’d love to hear other people’s favourites!

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