#BookishBloggersUnite – Best Opening Lines

This week for Bookish Bloggers Unite we’re talking about best opening lines. This week we’re being hosted by Tina over at TBR, etc so make sure to pay her a visit at her wonderful blog. Remember you can join the fun at any time, just pop your post link into the linky on Tina’s site.

I don’t necessarily pay a lot of attention to opening lines in particular – I’m generally pretty keen to get to what happens after that. An opening line does give you a particular way of approaching a book and can set the tone for the rest of the novel. I confess I had to go searching for opening lines to share with you – I only had one that I remembered, but it turns out that some books that I love do have great openings.

I do’t speak about him much on the blog (as he is a dead white guy) but I do have a deep and abiding love for Douglas Adams. My first opening line is from his Long, Dark Tea-Time of the Soul, my favourite of his books. (The photo is of the copy I bought when I was in my last year of school, which means it’s nearly 30 years old.)

“It can hardly be a co-incidence that no language on Earth has produced the expression ‘as pretty as an airport’.”

I love Adams for his mix of humour and dark social commentary, both of which are abundant in this book.

Next up is Fools by Pat Cadigan, which is one of my all time favourite sci-fi novels. (The photo is my copy purchased in 1994.)

“Everywhere I looked in Davy Jones’ Locker, I saw me, or people who wanted to be me.”

It launches you into the book with the feeling of confusion and WTF-ness if you like, which lasts for the entire acid trip that this book is.

Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern has a simple opening line that sucks you in.

“The circus arrives without warning.”

I don’t know about you, but where I live when the circus comes to town it is heralded by some seriously disturbing large inflatable clowns, so a circus that arrives without warning seems intriguing and mysterious.

Last but not least, the opening to book one of the Illuminae Files sets up some high expectations of what’s to come.

“So here’s the file that almost killed me, Director.”

Consider me sucked in to the action! (I recently bought the hardcover version of his one, it is a thing of beauty.)

Do you have any favourite first lines? I’d love to hear them!



  1. ooooh these are good! I had forgotten the opening of Illuminae was so perfect! I am completely hopeless when it comes to opening lines (or any quotes from books, tbh) – which is kind of weird since I remember remember movie lines and song lyrics so easily, and would generally think of myself as a visual learned, not aural…

    Liked by 1 person

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