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Infographic: 34 Compelling First Lines of Famous Novels

It was a dark and stormy night …

The first sentence of a novel is often the only chance an author has to make the first impression, and the very best books will keep the reader hooked from the first line to the very last line.

In the following infographic you’ll find the first line from 34 novels, including Fahrenheit 451, To Serve Man, The Great Gatsby, and The Catcher in the Rye.



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Gbm March 21, 2016 um 12:16 pm

I have always like "The rat screamed." from "The Forge" by S.M. Stirling and David Drake.

New Infographic: Compelling First Lines of Famous Novels – Stephen's Lighthouse March 23, 2016 um 6:21 am

[…] Infographic: Compelling First Lines of Famous Novels […]

Ravenwood Zee April 14, 2016 um 12:32 pm

This is a great Info graphic. Can you tell me where I can buy the poster. Very inspirational for my teenage son.

Also one of my favorites is from Sula by Toni Morrison–"In that place, where they tore the nightshade and blackberry patches from their rooks to make room for the Medallion City Golf Course, there was once a neighborhood."

Johnnie April 15, 2016 um 6:17 am

It was a dark and stormy night. A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeline L’Engle.

Nate Hoffelder April 15, 2016 um 6:59 am

"Step away from the zebra, and put down the cucumber!" the cop shouted at me. – my unfinished manuscript

fjtorres April 15, 2016 um 7:06 am

So get cracking and finish it!

SJ Drummond July 22, 2016 um 9:27 pm

Am a new librarian & would love to get my hands on a poster version of this–any thoughts on how?

Eric May 27, 2020 um 4:51 pm

"The man in black fled across the dessert, and the gunslinger followed." The Dark Tower – The Gunslinger. Stephen King

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