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You can’t judge a book by its cover, so they say, but you can judge it by its first line. One sentence is all it takes: we’re intrigued, we’re shocked, we have to keep reading. The best first lines, though, stand alone; they’re like one-sentence poems. When read aloud, they carry the whole of the novel in them. Take a peek at the opening lines—poems? masterpieces?—of these 21 incredible novels.
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