F is for First Lines #AtoZChallenge

Time to test your first line mettle. Which book goes with which first line? I tried to mix it up with well known and “figure it out”. If you want to check, the answers are at the bottom.  Don’t peak until you are ready!

carriemy booky wookone hundreddirty jobjuliet immortal

First Lines —–

1. Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendia was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.

2. Charlie Asher walked the earth like an ant walks on the surface of water, as if the slightest misstep might send him plummeting through the surface to be sucked to the depths below.

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

4. Tonight, he could have come through the door – the castello is quiet, even the servants asleep in their beds, and Nurse would have let him in – but he chooses the window, climbing through the tangle of night flowers, carrying petals in on his clothes.

5. On the morning of April Fools’ Day, 2005, I woke up in a sexual addiction treatment center in a suburb of Philadelphia.

Books  —–

A. A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore

B. Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay

C. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

D. My Booky Wook by Russell Brand

E. Carrie by Stephen King

It is funny, I went through a TON of books on my shelf for first lines, and many of them are not them memorable, or mention the title right away or something.  Do you think a first line should be memorable? Do you even notice them when you start a book and reflect or do you read right over it?  As a writer do you agonize about it at all?

Answers —–

1C, 2A, 3E, 4B, 5D


About ocdreader

I love to read! I always have a book or four going, I have more books in my to-be-read pile than I can read in a year and yet I continue to haunt the bookstores. I have a problem, but I somehow soldier on. I enjoy talking books, so pass on your recommendations and thoughts - I would love to hear them.
This entry was posted in A-Z Challenge 2013. Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to F is for First Lines #AtoZChallenge

  1. Sisyphus47 says:

    shouldn’t have given the answers!! ;-P

  2. Layla says:

    I got 1,3, and 5 😀

    As a writer, I wouldn’t say I agonize over first lines, but I’m definitely aware of it and try to make them as memorable as I can.

    Most first lines I remember are from classics. The only contemporary novel whose first line I remembered and loved was for Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. It goes:

    “He was tall, about fifty, with darkly handsome, almost sinister features.”

    I don’t know why it grabbed me, but till now I think it’s a great opening line.

  3. I didn’t get a single one. Hang head in shame.

    • ocdreader says:

      hahaha, they are pretty random books. and taken out of context… I was going to do The Night Circus which was something like – The circus showed up overnight or something like that. Should have done…

  4. beckyday6 says:

    What a fantastic idea for a post! I haven’t read any of the books above so I was was just randomly guessing but I got one right. Yay meee. 🙂

    I’m very impressed with all your a-z posts so far, they’re so creative I wouldn’t have been able to come up with such interesting things.

  5. Janeal Falor says:

    This is such a fun idea! I didn’t get any of them, but I’ve only read one of them. I think first lines are important, but usually don’t make or break whether or not I’ll read a book.

  6. cleemckenzie says:

    That’s a good question because I love grabber first lines, but there are some books that start slow with not much to entice me. Then “pow” they pull me in with a great story and those first lines don’t matter. I loved the Stephen King one from Carrie. Here’s one I’ve always thought was great. “The first thing I did was steal a body.” I had to read on.

  7. I only got the one right – Marquez! Great idea 🙂 I think a great first line is an added bonus but not a necessity. Having said that I do consider the first paragraph while trying to decide whether to buy a book. If it’s engrossing from the first page I take that as a good sign! Although I am often deceived 😛

  8. I’m not so sure a first line should be memorable but definitely catchy enough to make a reader want to read more.

    Have fun with a-z.

  9. stephscottil says:

    I love Christopher Moore books! I got that line right, plus Juliet Immortal which I read, and the Russel Brand book. Carrie, yeah got that too even though I’ve just seen the movie. Fun idea!

  10. transformednonconformist says:

    As a reader, I don’t even think about it. I just start reading.

    Dropping in from A to Z. This is my first year participating.

    Brett Minor
    Transformed Nonconformist

  11. diannegray says:

    I didn’t get any of them, Elisa! I never really think of a first line until someone mentions ‘famous first lines’, like – “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 hope, it was the winter of despair” from Tale of Two Cities…

    That’s about the only one I know! “They’ say first lines are really important to grab the reader, but I’m not sure about that. I usually look at the first 50 pages and if I’m not ‘grabbed’ I drop it 😉

    • ocdreader says:

      I know, that is why I had a hard time picking first lines, most were non-events! But I don’t think it really matters either.
      I am impressed you know that whole, long Dickens sentence! Dang

  12. Tizzy Potts says:

    This was a fun quiz. I do think first lines are important. A good one really sticks with you years later. My favourite is the one from One Hundred Years of Solitude. But I also like the first line of Nineteen Eighty Four: “It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen”. I did a post about my favourite opening lines quite a while ago http://tizzypotts.blogspot.co.uk/2010/10/best-opening-lines.html

  13. stacybuckeye says:

    Rats! I switched 100 and Juliet 😦 Fun!

  14. Haha, I got them all. That was fun. 🙂

  15. Pete Denton says:

    I’ve never read any of these books, though would like to read Carrie at some stage.

  16. Daniel B. says:

    A first line MUST be useful…i don’t know how many books I’ve dropped becuase the first line (or paragraph) didn’t do it for me. But give me a great first line, and I’m stuck with the book for at least a few pages…and then the writer has more time to capture my attention.

  17. Dayle Lynne says:

    I’ve only read one of these books (A Dirty Job), but I got that one right away!

Don't be shy!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s