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First Liners - Quotes

A throng of bearded men, in sad-colored garments and gray, steeple-crowned hats, intermixed with women, some wearing hoods, and others bareheaded, was assembled in front of a wooden edifice, the door of which was heavily timbered with oak, and studded with iron spikes.

Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Scarlet Letter

It was love at first sight.

Joseph Heller

He was an old man who fished alone in a skiff in the Gulf stream and he had gone 84 days now without taking a fish.

Ernest Hemingway
The Old Man and the Sea

In the week before their departure to Arrakis, when all the final scurrying about had reached a nearly unbearable frenzy, an old crone came to visit the mother of the boy, Paul.

Frank Herbert

It was three hundred forty-eight years, six months, and nineteen days ago today that the citizens of Paris were awakened by the pealing of all the bells in the triple precincts of the City, the University, and the Town.

Victor Hugo
The Hunchback of Notre-Dame

Not so long ago, a monster came to the small town of Castle Rock, Maine.

Stephen King

Nobody was really surprised when it happened, not really, not on the subconscious level where savage things grow.

Stephen King

It was seven o'clock of a very warm evening in the Seeonee hills when Father Wolf woke up from his day's rest, scratched himself, yawned, and spread out his paws one after the other to get rid of the sleepy feeling in their tips.

Rudyard Kipling
The Jungle Book

When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow.

Harper Lee
To Kill a Mockingbird

Once there were four children whose names were Peter, Susan, Edmond, and Lucy.

C. S. Lewis
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Buck did not read the newspapers or he would have known that trouble was brewing, not alone for himself, but for every tide-water dog, strong of muscle and with warm, long hair, from Puget Sound to San Diego.

Jack London
The Call of the Wild

The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents.

H. P. Lovecraft
The Call of the Cthulhu

Call me Ishmael.

Herman Melville
Moby Dick

I am living at the Villa Borghese. There is not a crumb of dirt anywhere nor a chair misplaced. We are alone here and we are dead.

Henry Miller
Tropic of Cancer

Scarlett O'Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were.

Margaret Mitchell
Gone With the Wind

It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.

George Orwell

Amerigo Bonasera sat in New York Criminal Court Number 3 and waited for justice; vengeance on the men who had so cruelly hurt his daughter, who had tried to dishonor her.

Mario Puzo
The Godfather

Who is John Galt?

Ayn Rand
Atlas Shrugged

We are five miles behind the front.

Erich Maria Remarque
All Quiet on the Western Front

Amoebae leave no fossils.

Tom Robbins
Even Cowgirls Get the Blues

"To be born again," sang Gibreel Farishta tumbling from the heavens, "first you have to die."

Salman Rushdie
The Satanic Verses

If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.

J. D. Salinger
The Catcher in the Rye

The first place that I can well remember was a large pleasant meadow with a pond of clear water in it.

Anna Sewell
Black Beauty

You will rejoice to hear that no disaster has accompanied the commencement of an enterprise which you have regarded with such evil forebodings.

Mary Shelley

Not long ago, there lived in London a young married couple of Dalmatian dogs named Pongo and Misses Pongo.

Dodie Smith
101 Dalmatians

A few miles south of Soledad, the Salinas River drops in close to the hill-side bank and runs deep and green.

John Steinbeck
Of Mice and Men

To the red country and part of the gray country of Oklahoma, the last rains came gently, and they did not cut the scarred earth.

John Steinbeck
The Grapes of Wrath

Mr. Utterson the lawyer was a man of a rugged countenance, that was never lighted by a smile; cold, scanty and embarrassed in discourse; backward in sentiment; lean, long, dusty, dreary and yet somehow lovable.

Robert Louis Stevenson
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

I will begin the story of my adventures with a certain morning early in the month of June, the year of grace 1751, when I took the key for the last time out of the door of my father's house.

Robert Louis Stevenson

Squire Trelawney, Dr. Livesey, and the rest of these gentlemen having asked me to write down the whole particulars about Treasure island, from the beginning to the end, keeping nothing back but the bearings of the island, and that only because there is still treasure not yet lifted, I take up my pen in the year of grace 17 - , and go back to the time when my father kept the `Admiral Benbow' inn, and the brown old seaman, with the sabre cut, first took up his lodging under our roof.

Robert Louis Stevenson
Treasure Island

3 May. Bistritz. - Left Munich at 8:35 P.M., on 1st May, arriving at Vienna early next morning; should have arrived at 6:46, but the train was an hour late. Buda-Pesth seems a wonderful place, from the glimpse which I got from the train and the little I could walk through the streets.

Bram Stoker

My father asked me to be the fourth corner at the Joy Luck Club.

Amy Tan
The Joy Luck Club

We drove past Tiny Polski's mansion house to the main road, and then the five miles into Northampton, Father talking the whole way about savages and the awfulness of America - how it got turned into a dope-taking, door locking, ulcerated danger zone of rabid scavengers and criminal millionaires and moral sneaks.

Paul Theroux
The Mosquito Coast

When I wrote the following pages, or rather the bulk of them, I lived alone, in the woods, a mile from any neighbor, in a house which I had built myself, on the shore of Walden Pond, in Concord, Massachusetts, and earned my living by the labor of my hands only.

Henry David Thoreau

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.

J. R. R. Tolkien
The Hobbit

"Well, Prince, so Genoa and Lucca are now just family estates of the Buonapartes."

Leo Tolstoy
War and Peace

If you want to find Cherry Tree Lane all you have to do is ask a policeman at the crossroads.

P. L. Travers
Mary Poppins

You don't know about me without you have read a book by the name of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; but that ain't no matter.

Mark Twain
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

"TOM!" No answer. "TOM!" No answer.

Mark Twain
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

On the morning of August 8, 1965, Robert Kincaid locked the door to his small two-room apartment on the third floor of a rambling house in Bellingham, Washington.

Robert Waller
The Bridges of Madison County

I do not propose to add anything to what has already been written concerning the loss of the "Lady Vain."

H. G. Wells
The Island of Doctor Moreau

The Time Traveler (for so it will be convenient to speak of him) was expounding a recondite matter to us.

H. G. Wells
The Time Machine

No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man's and yet as mortal as his own; that as men busied themselves about their various concerns they were scrutinised and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scru- tinise the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water.

H. G. Wells
The War of the Worlds

"Where's Papa going with that ax?" said Fern to her mother as they were setting the table for breakfast.

E. B. White
Charlotte's Web

For many days we had been tempest-tossed.

Johann Wyss
The Swiss Family Robinson

We go about our daily lives understanding almost nothing of the world.

Stephen W. Hawking
A Brief History of Time

He was tall, about fifty, with darkly handsome, almost sinister features: a neatly trimmed mustache, hair turning silver at the temples, and eyes so black they were like tinted windows of a sleek limousine - he could see out, but you couldn't see in.

John Berendt
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

Mr. Hungerton, her father, really was the most tactless person upon earth - a fluffy, feathery, untidy cockatoo of a man, perfectly good-natured, but absolutely centred upon his own silly self.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Lost World

I am the vampire Lestat. I'm immortal. More or less. The light of the sun, the sustained heat of an intense fire - these things might destroy me. But then again, they might not.

Anne Rice
The Vampire Lestat

Midway in our life's journey, I went astray
from the straight road and woke to find myself
alone in a dark wood.

Dante Alighieri
The Divine Comedy