What's the first sentence of the book you are reading?

Greetings to Catholic Answers Forum,

I am very fond of reading books. I also judge a book by its first sentence. If that first sentence captivates me and piques my interest chances are the rest of the book will pique my interest as well.

So what’s the book you are reading and the first sentence of it?

God Bless.
Anathama Sit

For fun I am reading Anne of Avonlea and here’s the first sentence of it.

A tall, slim girl, “half-past sixteen,” with serious gray eyes and hair which her friends called auburn, had sat down on the broad red sandstone doorstep of a Prince Edward Island farmhouse one ripe afternoon in August, firmly resolved to construe so many lines of Virgil.


I read two or three books at a time (one for each room, and the mystery novel not at bedtime!), so here are the two openers:

“The match scratched noisily across the rusted metal of the corrugated iron shed, fizzled, then burst into a sputtering pool of light, the harsh sound and sudden brilliance alike strangely alien in the stillness of the desert night.”
~~The Guns of Navarone by Alistair MacLean

“Elizabeth Middleton, twenty-nine years old and unmarried, overly educated and excessively rational, knowing right from wrong and fancy from fact, woke in a nest of marten and fox pelts to the sight of an eagle circling overhead, and saw at once tht it could not be far to Paradise.”
~~Into the Wilderness by Sara Donati

This will be fun, Anathama; rather like the famous Bulwer-Lytton contest to see who can come up with the most convoluted first line. Of course, he is famous as the author of “It was a dark and stormy night…”:thumbsup:

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. :slight_smile:

Greetings Peggy in Burien,

You know I have never ever read the book that started with “It was a dark and stormy night.” What book is that?

The first sentence is pretty captivating I have to say. I can almost hear the match being lit and smell the burn smell as well.

God Bless.
Anathama Sit

Greetings Rahn,

I too am reading that one as well. :smiley:

Hopefully everyone KNOWS where that sentence comes from on Catholic Answers Forum.

God Bless.
Anathama Sit

When the earthly goods of Ivar Gjesling the Younger of Sundbu was divided up in the year 1306, his property at Sil was given to his daughter Ragnfrid and her husband Lavrans Bjorgulfson.

Kristin Lavransdatter, by Sigrid Undset

That first sentence is informative, to be sure. :o

But the book does become more interesting…

The first sentence is:

Demandred stepped out onto the black slopes of Shayol Ghul, and the gateway, a hole in reality’s fabric, winked out of existence.

Greetings Bataar,

What book is that by the way?

Greetings Dale_M,

It does sound interesting.

God Bless.
Anathama Sit

“Great art thou, O Lord, and greatly to be praised; great is thy power, and infinite is thy wisdom.”

Confessions of St. Augustine

“The perp looked around–what nasty little eyes he had!–and saw there was nowhere to go.”–Thereby Hangs A Tail: A Chet and Bernie Mystery by Spencer Quinn


“The two best things about being a shopkeeper are that your income isn’t limited to some corporation’s idea of what a salary should be, and you get to set your own hours.”–The Pot Thief Who Studied Pythagoras by J. Michael Orenduff (the second sentence goes on: “The two worst things are that you don’t have a salary to depend on every month, and… well, it doesn’t really matter what the other worst thing is if there’s no money coming in.”)

“Learning our address takes a lifetime.”
Mark Labberton, The Dangerous Act of Loving Our Neighbor

We’re reading this book for Sunday School. I’m enjoying it so far. :slight_smile:

HARI SELDON–… born in the 11,988th year of the Galactic Era; died 12,069. The dates are
more commonly given in terms of the current Foundational Era as – 79 to the year 1 F.E. Born to middle-class parents on Helicon, Arcturus sector (where his father, in a legend of doubtful authenticity, was a tobacco grower in the hydroponic plants of the planet), he early showed amazing ability in mathematics. Anecdotes concerning his ability are innumerable, and some are contradictory. At the age of two, he is said to have …

I’m re-reading the Foundation trilogy by Asimov. I’m excited that this trilogy is finally coming to the silver screen. However, I have no faith that Sony and Emmerich can do it justice. If anything, this Foundation movie will be an explosion porn. Wish Warner Bros didn’t drop out of the bidding for the right to this film. Warner Bros and Peter Jackson could pull it off.

Sweet! I have several Asimov novels here on my shelf.

My mother was a book snob and we grew up reading nothing less than the best! The downside was convincing our teachers in our tiny town that yes, a second grader could do a book report on Clarke’s Childhood’s End! :wink:

Dear Warm Hearts – 20 Sept 2011
That is an interesting and provoking invitation. I accept. Here’s the opening sentence.

“Anyone who tries today to talk about the question of Christian faith in the presence of people who are not thoroughly at home with ecclesiastical language and thought by calling or convention soon comes to sense the alien – and alienating – nature of such an enterprise.”

That’s the opening sentence of the book Introduction to Christianity by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI)

I’m quite well into, almost through, the book. If that’s an “introduction” to Christianity, I wonder what a course in graduate theology/philosophy/psychology would be!
Blessing! John (JohnJFarren)

I’ll have to ask you about that sometime! My buddy claims the very first book he read, when he was a third grader, was Childhood’s End! How did you do it? I read it three years ago, and was plagued by nightmares.

Here is the famous first line from Edward George Bulwer-Lytton’s 1830 novel Paul Clifford:

“It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents, except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.”

The opening line to my most favorite (and oft reread) book:

“When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow.”

Now, I’m sure one of you will recognize where this originates.:wink:

Great thread! :slight_smile: The first lines of a short story that I’m currently reading:

One day, in my first job, a lady fell in love with me. It was quite unreasonable, of course, for I wasn’t wonderful: I was small and thin, and I weighed much the same as a largish duck-egg. I didn’t fall in love with her, or anything like that. I got under the table, and stayed there until she had to go wherever she had to go to.

It’s a wonderful story by James Stephens, titled “A Rhinoceros, Some Ladies, and a Horse”. It’s one of my favourite english stories. I enjoy re-reading it occasionally…

It’s available at this site english.txstate.edu/cohen_p/irish/Stephens.html if anyone wants to read it. :smiley:

“Playing-cards are flat, two-sided gaming pieces with identifying marks on one side and a uniform pattern on the other, and are employed in such a way that only their holders can see their identifying marks.”

A dry beginning for the “Penguin Book of Card Games” by David Parlett. But it is preceded by this quote from James Thurber: “No man who has wrestled with a self-adjusting card table can ever be quite the man he once was.”

Greetings JohnJFarren,

Oh wow that is a very interesting first sentence. That causes one to stop and think. I have not read this book as of yet, it is on my desk waiting to be read once I can finish some others.

God Bless.
Anathama Sit

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