More First Lines of Novels, Plus Our First Line M/M Novels Quiz!
People tend to disagree over what are the most favorite/best loved lines in literature, especially when compiling lists. When scanning over a number of the Top Ten, the same lines and books appear over and over, but after that? It can get lively.
Sometimes the lists can surprise you, baffle you and delight you. Here are some of the first lines I found on lists that dismayed, baffled and delighted the heck out of me, and yes, that one huge thing is one sentence. Read it and weep for whatever emotion takes you and consider if they did their job…made you want to read the book.
What line dismayed me? This first line found on multiple lists, which I still find dismal. Up to me, this book would have remained unread, even by that year’s standards.
“I was born in the Year 1632, in the City of York, of a good Family, tho’ not of that Country, my Father being a Foreigner of Bremen, who settled first at Hull; He got a good Estate by Merchandise, and leaving off his Trade, lived afterward at York, from whence he had married my Mother, whose Relations were named Robinson, a very good Family in that Country, and from whom I was called Robinson Kreutznaer; but by the usual Corruption of Words in England, we are now called, nay we call our selves, and write our Name Crusoe, and so my Companions always call’d me.” Robinson Crusoe (1719), Daniel Defoe
What baffled me? This one sentence, yes, one line opener.
“Once upon a time two or three weeks ago, a rather stubborn and determined middle-aged man decided to record for posterity, exactly as it happened, word by word and step by step, the story of another man for indeed what is great in man is that he is a bridge and not a goal, a somewhat paranoiac fellow unmarried, unattached, and quite irresponsible, who had decided to lock himself in a room a furnished room with a private bath, cooking facilities, a bed, a table, and at least one chair, in New York City, for a year 365 days to be precise, to write the story of another person—a shy young man about of 19 years old—who, after the war the Second World War, had come to America the land of opportunities from France under the sponsorship of his uncle—a journalist, fluent in five languages—who himself had come to America from Europe Poland it seems, though this was not clearly established sometime during the war after a series of rather gruesome adventures, and who, at the end of the war, wrote to the father his cousin by marriage of the young man whom he considered as a nephew, curious to know if he the father and his family had survived the German occupation, and indeed was deeply saddened to learn, in a letter from the young man—a long and touching letter written in English, not by the young man, however, who did not know a damn word of English, but by a good friend of his who had studied English in school—that his parents both his father and mother and his two sisters one older and the other younger than he had been deported they were Jewish to a German concentration camp Auschwitz probably and never returned, no doubt having been exterminated deliberately X * X * X * X, and that, therefore, the young man who was now an orphan, a displaced person, who, during the war, had managed to escape deportation by working very hard on a farm in Southern France, would be happy and grateful to be given the opportunity to come to America that great country he had heard so much about and yet knew so little about to start a new life, possibly go to school, learn a trade, and become a good, loyal citizen.” — Raymond Federman, Double or Nothing, 1971
What delighted me? That I found these opening lines on a couple of lists.
“Where’s Papa going with that axe?” said Fern to her mother as they were setting the table for breakfast. (E.B. White,Charlotte’s Web)
“When the car stopped rolling, Parker kicked out the windshield and crawled through onto the wrinkled hood, Glock first.” –Donald E. Westlake writing as Richard Stark, Backflash
The drought had lasted now for ten million years, and the reign of the terrible lizards had long since ended. –Arthur C. Clarke, 2001: A Space Odyssey
“Nobody ever walked across the bridge, not on a night like this.” –Mickey Spillane, One Lonely Night.
This little hunt so entertained me that I decided to compile a list of my own, with help from the rest of the reviewers here at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words.
We started to look for the first lines from some very popular M/M Romance/Fiction stories and we came up with what is sure to be the first of at least 3 Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words M/M Romance First Line Quizzes!
Look for the answers in next week’s Sunday’s post . How many, if any,do you think you will recognize?
Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words M/M Romance First Line Quiz
In what m/m romance fiction books do these first lines appear?
- “This is the way my world ends.”
- “Once upon a time…that’s how the old stories always begin.”
- “It was pouring when I walked outside to use the pay phone.”
- “He was on his third beer of the evening when he thought he heard a noise in the backyard.”
- “His elegantly decorated hospital room looked regal and stately, much like the man lying in the bed in the center of the room.”
- “I don’t disagree with you Mother, Clarissa is a very beautiful woman. “
- “I wish to buy a boy,” the stranger said.”
- “I would say that I never let harm come to him, but in this world harm comes to us all. “
- “At eight in the evening on a Friday, Roosevelt High School was dark and abandoned.”
- “The whole thing started because of Lizzy’s Jeep.”
- “Dad, I’m gay.”
- “This is not a coming-out story.”
- “He wore the navy suit because it was her favorite, the light blue shirt because when he looked down at his cuff, the slender line of color made him remember her eyes.”
- “The smell of cheap motel rooms was comforting to him, like his oldest, rattiest T-shirt.”
This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
Sunday, October 4:
- More First Lines of Novels, Our M/M Fiction First Line Quiz and This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
Monday, October 5:
- Cover reveal for J. Johanis ‘Dream Gods’ (cover reveal and contest)
- EE Montgomery ‘Just The Way You Are’ Keep Me In Mind Tour and Giveaway
- Coffee Sip and Book Break: Small Wonders by Courtney Lux (excerpt and giveaway)
- A Stella Review: Blueberry Boys by Vanessa North
- A Mika Review: Signs of Life by Melanie Hansen
Tuesday, October 6:
- Book Spotlight: Dragon’s Eye by Lexi Ander (excerpt and giveaway)
- Author Spotlight Special: Sloan Johnson “Triple Play”-rescheduled for Oct 2oth
- Coffee Sip and Book Break: Roping Him In by Jena Wade (excerpt and giveaway)
- A Free Dreamer Review: Strength To Let Go by Alina Popescu
- A Barb, A Zany Old Lady Audio Review: Pura Vida by Sara Alva ~ Audiobook narrated by Joseph Northton
Wednesday, October 7:
- Kate Pearce’s Tribute Series Returns with the Retribution Tour and Contest
- Valerie Brundage ‘Another Creature’ book blast and contest
- Coffee Sip and Book Break with Missy Welsh – Take Your Pick (excerpt and giveaway)
- A Stella Review: Base Instinct by Larissa Ione
- A PaulB review: Shades of Power by Beany Sparks
Thursday, October 8:
- Grein Murray ‘Keeping Joshua’ book blast and giveaway
- In the Book Spotlight: Purpose by Andrew Q Gordon (excerpt and contest)
- A Jeri Review: Let The Wrong Light In by Avon Gale
- A Free Dreamer Review: First Contact by Alex Gabriel
- A Mika Review: Redeeming Hope by Shell Taylor
Friday, October 9:
- Riptide Publishing’s 4th Anniversary Celebration Tour and Contest
- Coffee Sip and Book Break with P.D. Singer ‘Otter Chaos’ (excerpt and giveaway)
- A BJ Review: Winter: Haunted Heart #1 by Josh Lanyon
- A Free Dreamer Review: To Catch A Threeve by Alexis Duran
- A MelanieM Review: Where the Grass is Greener (Seeds of Tyrone #2) by Debbie McGowan and Raine O’Tierney
YA Saturday, October 10:
- An Aurora YA Review: Mad About the Hatter by Dakota Chase
Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Has the Answers You Want Next Sunday!
In the Meantime, grab up those old favorites, check out those first lines! Can’t find the ones above? Ok, how about the ones you don’t need but find that are pretty cool? While you’re at it, write those down and submit them here to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to use for our next quizzes. You’ll never know when a prize will pop up and you will have a least one line in the “know”.