The Best First Lines of All Time

Ah, first lines. They grab us, they intrigue us, they carry the promise of an entire book.

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. . . .”

“As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect.”

“A screaming comes across the sky.”

We judge a book by its first line. (But maybe we shouldn’t.)

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We all have our favorites. We want to hear yours. Share your favorite in a comment! We’ll collect the most popular for our countdown of the best first lines of all time.

About Kira Walton

Kira Walton

KIRA WALTON has been stalking books all her life as a college English teacher, bookseller, book club consultant, author, and editor.

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