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Top 10 book openings

Some time ago I wrote about the Top 10 book endings. Recently I’ve been thinking about the Top 10 book openings; a ‘top 10’ which I found particularly difficult. I used the following criteria: the top 10 lines would be those I easily recalled, (meaning they were especially memorable), or they would be the lines which had most made me want to keep reading.

After much thought, I eventually came up with the following list:

1. 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 by Charles Dickens

 

2. It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

 

3. Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

 

4. 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 by F. Scott Fitzgerald

 

5. “Call me Ishmael”

Moby-Dick by Herman Melville

 

6. Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the riverbank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, ‘and what is the use of a book’, thought Alice, ‘without pictures or conversation?’

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

 

7. Once upon a time, there was a woman who discovered she had turned into the wrong person.

Back When We Were Grownups by Anne Tyler (2001)

 

8. All children, except one, grow up

Peter Pan by J.M.Barrie

 

9. In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines lived twelve little girls in two straight lines.

Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans

 

10. Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K.Rowling

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