Novels With the Best First Lines

First Lines

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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 … such power. We’re intrigued, we’re shocked, we have to keep reading. But the best first lines are the ones that stand alone. They’re like one-sentence poems. When read aloud, they carry the whole of the novel in them. One of our favorite things to do right after reading the last line of a novel and closing the book is to open it back up again and read the first line. What resonance that first line has after you’ve finished the book!

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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.