Tuesday, May 01, 2012

The ten best first lines in fiction

At the Guardian, Robert McCrum came up with ten of the best opening lines of novels in the English language, including:
Robert Louis Stevenson
Treasure Island (1883)

“Squire Trelawnay, Dr Livesey, and the rest of these gentlemen having asked me to write down the whole particulars about Treasure Island, from the beginning to the end, keeping nothing back but the bearings of the island, and that only because there is still treasure not yet lifted, I take up my pen in the year of grace 17-- and go back to the time when my father kept the Admiral Benbow inn and the brown old seaman with the sabre cut first took up his lodging under our roof.” Among the most brilliant and enthralling opening lines in the English language
Read about another entry on the list.

Treasure Island also appears on John Mullan's list of ten of the best pirates in fiction and among Mal Peet's top ten books to read aloud, Philip Pullman's six best books, and Eoin Colfer's six favorite books.

Also see the 100 best last lines from novels.

--Marshal Zeringue