In my mind, Monday is gray. It is a dismal, dreary hue, evoking images of thick clouds and damp fog. School and work and another busy, deadline-filled week loom ominously. I know I’m not alone — Monday is a bummer for most people, a day to sludge through and collapse in relief at the end. Because of this, I’m introducing Miscellaneous Mondays, a weekly post about, well, who knows? It’ll be varied (hence the “miscellaneous” part), a surprise to start off the week. From book reviews to musings about life, I hope you will find that it brightens an otherwise gloomy day.
So, this week’s topic: My favorite opening lines and why I like them.
In a hole in the ground, there lived a hobbit. ~ The Hobbit, J. R. R. Tolkien
I had to, guys, I just had to. This line immediately begs the question, “What is a hobbit?”, which is the perfect thing to ask, since the next thousand pages revolve around one (and his faithful buddies, of course). It also a cozy, homey feel that makes you want to settle into your chair for a long afternoon of reading.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of Light, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the othe way — in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree only. ~ A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
Long sentences are hard to make interesting, but this one breaks the mold. I love the comparisons and its almost paradoxical quality, and how it makes you so impatient to learn what happened in this fascinating time period.
It was a pleasure to burn. ~ Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
This one is short yet so powerful, and it raises so many questions. “What do you mean? Doesn’t fire hurt and destroy? What is this person burning? Why do they enjoy it?” This tiny statement is a perfect symbol of the upside-down world you’re about to enter.
Most people don’t expect you to understand what we’re telling you in this book. ~ Do Hard Things, Alex & Brett Harris
The genuis of this one is that it immediately makes you want to read the entire book and understand every word, just to prove those people wrong. Plus, I love how it immediately sets the friendly, conversational tone and forms a bond between the readers and the authors.
There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it. ~ Voyage of the Dawn Treader, C. S. Lewis
This one is my favorite, hands down. It’s absolutely hilarious, and it informs you of several key facts without actually saying them: This book is about Eustace Clarence Scrubb. He is not a nice or attractive boy. However, he’s not entirely bad.
So, what about you? What are some of your favorite opening lines?