Best Beginning
What book do you think has the best beginning/opening chapter ever?

For the Best Ending, please see and vote in this list: http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/57...
101 Dracula
by
3.94 of 5 stars 3.94 avg rating — 407,556 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
102 The Call of Cthulhu and Oth...
by
4.26 of 5 stars 4.26 avg rating — 17,979 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
102 Tehlikeli Oyunlar
by
4.63 of 5 stars 4.63 avg rating — 934 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
104 Franny and Zooey
by
3.98 of 5 stars 3.98 avg rating — 118,452 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
105 The War of the Worlds
by
3.75 of 5 stars 3.75 avg rating — 109,622 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
106 Battle Royale
by
4.23 of 5 stars 4.23 avg rating — 25,240 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
107 A Game of Thrones (A Song o...
by
4.44 of 5 stars 4.44 avg rating — 748,180 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
108 Invisible Monsters
by
3.98 of 5 stars 3.98 avg rating — 69,575 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
108 The Adventures of Huckleber...
by
3.78 of 5 stars 3.78 avg rating — 800,443 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
110 Waiting for Godot
by
3.79 of 5 stars 3.79 avg rating — 72,826 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
111 A Confederacy of Dunces
by
3.87 of 5 stars 3.87 avg rating — 127,618 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
112 Slaughterhouse-Five
by
4.01 of 5 stars 4.01 avg rating — 606,133 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
113 The Black Cat
by
4.09 of 5 stars 4.09 avg rating — 9,755 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
113 Stardust
by
4.04 of 5 stars 4.04 avg rating — 176,386 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
115 Into the Wild
by
3.88 of 5 stars 3.88 avg rating — 407,355 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
116 The Murders in the Rue Morg...
by
3.9 of 5 stars 3.90 avg rating — 4,637 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
117 Memoirs of an Invisible Man
by
4.07 of 5 stars 4.07 avg rating — 947 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
117 The Manufactured Identity (...
by
3.6 of 5 stars 3.60 avg rating — 316 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
117 John Dies at the End (John ...
by
3.93 of 5 stars 3.93 avg rating — 26,863 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
117 Undeadly (The Reaper Diarie...
by
3.65 of 5 stars 3.65 avg rating — 2,018 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
117 The First Pillar (Everville...
by
3.72 of 5 stars 3.72 avg rating — 481 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
117 The Call of Agon (The Child...
by
3.9 of 5 stars 3.90 avg rating — 84 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
117 Atlas
by
4.82 of 5 stars 4.82 avg rating — 82 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
117 A DEAD SISTER (Jessica Hunt...
by
5.0 of 5 stars 5.00 avg rating — 44 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
125 Blood Rites (The Dresden Fi...
by
4.32 of 5 stars 4.32 avg rating — 52,783 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
125 The Surfer
by
4.0 of 5 stars 4.00 avg rating — 9 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
125 Shades of Grey (Shades of G...
by
4.12 of 5 stars 4.12 avg rating — 17,178 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
125 Machine
by
5.0 of 5 stars 5.00 avg rating — 4 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
125 Deadly Secrets (The Greek I...
by
4.99 of 5 stars 4.99 avg rating — 83 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
130 Afraid
by
3.89 of 5 stars 3.89 avg rating — 4,258 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
130 Tordyveln flyger i skymningen
by
3.9 of 5 stars 3.90 avg rating — 880 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
130 Jurassic Park (Jurassic Par...
by
3.85 of 5 stars 3.85 avg rating — 458,091 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
133 Blood Meridian, or The Even...
by
4.2 of 5 stars 4.20 avg rating — 48,405 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
134 Notes from Underground
by
4.14 of 5 stars 4.14 avg rating — 56,390 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
134 The Three Musketeers
by
4.03 of 5 stars 4.03 avg rating — 144,362 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
136 Gone (Gone, #1)
by
3.87 of 5 stars 3.87 avg rating — 95,811 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
137 Fight Club
by
4.18 of 5 stars 4.18 avg rating — 252,183 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
138 Graceling (Graceling Realm,...
by
4.11 of 5 stars 4.11 avg rating — 188,355 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
139 Neuromancer (Sprawl #1)
by
3.84 of 5 stars 3.84 avg rating — 146,116 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
140 Johnny Got His Gun
by
4.14 of 5 stars 4.14 avg rating — 17,419 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
141 The Unbearable Lightness of...
by
4.05 of 5 stars 4.05 avg rating — 161,208 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
142 City of Bones (The Mortal I...
by
4.13 of 5 stars 4.13 avg rating — 651,238 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
143 The Premature Burial
by
3.9 of 5 stars 3.90 avg rating — 487 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
143 Hades' Disciples (The Legac...
by
4.2 of 5 stars 4.20 avg rating — 20 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
145 Whose Body?  (Lord Peter Wi...
by
3.94 of 5 stars 3.94 avg rating — 17,887 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
146 Have His Carcase  (Lord Pet...
by
4.11 of 5 stars 4.11 avg rating — 7,011 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
146 A Heartbreaking Work of Sta...
by
3.65 of 5 stars 3.65 avg rating — 118,759 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
148 The Help
by
4.44 of 5 stars 4.44 avg rating — 1,035,087 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
149 Chess Story
by
4.22 of 5 stars 4.22 avg rating — 9,798 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
150 Stranger in a Strange Land
by
3.86 of 5 stars 3.86 avg rating — 163,877 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
151 Artemis Fowl (Artemis Fowl,...
by
3.78 of 5 stars 3.78 avg rating — 256,258 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
152 Tol
by
4.07 of 5 stars 4.07 avg rating — 755 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
153 Frankenstein
by
3.69 of 5 stars 3.69 avg rating — 602,560 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
154 Across the Nightingale Floo...
by
4.04 of 5 stars 4.04 avg rating — 18,894 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
155 Portnoy's Complaint
by
3.68 of 5 stars 3.68 avg rating — 27,289 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
156 Dubliners
by
3.85 of 5 stars 3.85 avg rating — 57,893 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
157 Norwegian Wood
by
4.02 of 5 stars 4.02 avg rating — 113,115 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
157 The Grass is Singing
by
3.8 of 5 stars 3.80 avg rating — 4,326 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
157 Alice's Adventures in Wonde...
by
4.05 of 5 stars 4.05 avg rating — 295,514 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
157 Sophie's World: A Novel abo...
by
3.82 of 5 stars 3.82 avg rating — 94,517 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
161 A Study in Scarlet  (Sherlo...
by
4.13 of 5 stars 4.13 avg rating — 112,345 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
162 The New Life
by
3.52 of 5 stars 3.52 avg rating — 3,262 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
163 The French Lieutenant's Woman
by
3.82 of 5 stars 3.82 avg rating — 26,573 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
164 The Sword in the Stone (The...
by
3.92 of 5 stars 3.92 avg rating — 11,522 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
165 Peace Like a River
by
3.95 of 5 stars 3.95 avg rating — 44,506 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
166 Howl's Moving Castle (Howl'...
by
4.29 of 5 stars 4.29 avg rating — 85,173 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
167 Teenage Mermaid
by
3.59 of 5 stars 3.59 avg rating — 807 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
168 Amerika
by
3.72 of 5 stars 3.72 avg rating — 10,229 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
169 A Descent into the Maelstrom
by
3.6 of 5 stars 3.60 avg rating — 599 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
170 Ligeia
by
3.85 of 5 stars 3.85 avg rating — 1,137 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
171 Just So Stories
by
4.09 of 5 stars 4.09 avg rating — 26,539 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
172 Everything Is Illuminated
by
3.89 of 5 stars 3.89 avg rating — 105,475 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
173 Going Down with Janis
by
3.73 of 5 stars 3.73 avg rating — 81 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
173 Child of God
by
4.28 of 5 stars 4.28 avg rating — 773 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
173 Chang and Eng
by
3.29 of 5 stars 3.29 avg rating — 1,228 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
173 Kindness Goes Unpunished (W...
by
4.16 of 5 stars 4.16 avg rating — 3,757 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
173 Stations of the Tide
by
3.74 of 5 stars 3.74 avg rating — 1,045 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
173 Gatekeepers - The Quest for...
by
4.43 of 5 stars 4.43 avg rating — 14 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
173 A Heart to Mend
by
3.56 of 5 stars 3.56 avg rating — 70 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
173 Intrinsical (The Yara Silva...
by
3.82 of 5 stars 3.82 avg rating — 1,625 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
173 Bad Things Happen
by
3.56 of 5 stars 3.56 avg rating — 3,198 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
173 The Watcher
by
3.17 of 5 stars 3.17 avg rating — 42 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
173 Secretariat
by
4.13 of 5 stars 4.13 avg rating — 4,360 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
173 Progeny (The Children of th...
by
3.99 of 5 stars 3.99 avg rating — 184 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
173 Deadly Currents (An RM Outd...
by
3.38 of 5 stars 3.38 avg rating — 295 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
173 The Seduction of the Crimso...
by
3.84 of 5 stars 3.84 avg rating — 5,532 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
173 Pieces of Eight: A Story of...
by
3.73 of 5 stars 3.73 avg rating — 22 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
173 Morning, Noon & Night
by
3.57 of 5 stars 3.57 avg rating — 9,821 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
173 Are You Afraid of the Dark?
by
3.59 of 5 stars 3.59 avg rating — 14,792 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
173 Parkcrest View The Love Chr...
by
4.12 of 5 stars 4.12 avg rating — 24 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
173 Scorpio Rising (The Scorpio...
by
3.77 of 5 stars 3.77 avg rating — 101 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
173 Brodie's Bride
by
4.16 of 5 stars 4.16 avg rating — 38 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
173 Nor the Years Condemn
by
4.53 of 5 stars 4.53 avg rating — 17 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
173 Finding Home
by
3.53 of 5 stars 3.53 avg rating — 17 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
173 Neverdark
by
3.87 of 5 stars 3.87 avg rating — 108 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
173 Herzog
by
3.78 of 5 stars 3.78 avg rating — 10,257 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
173 The Wiccan Diaries (The Wic...
by
3.77 of 5 stars 3.77 avg rating — 78 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
173 Exit Strategy (Katerina Car...
by
4.04 of 5 stars 4.04 avg rating — 56 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
173 To Love, or Not to Love, Th...
by
3.71 of 5 stars 3.71 avg rating — 7 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
173 The Choice (Walk the Right ...
by
3.85 of 5 stars 3.85 avg rating — 120 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
flag this list (?)
339 books · 552 voters · list created August 28th, 2008 by Leila (votes) .
12 likes · like
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Leila
Leila
554 books
100 friends
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads
2389 books
458 friends
Neil
Neil
184 books
12 friends
Jennie
Jennie
385 books
28 friends
Julia
Julia
1876 books
90 friends
Munchkin
Munchkin
87 books
5 friends
Julieh
Julieh
193 books
1 friend
☯Bettie☯
☯Bettie☯
10635 books
137 friends

More voters…


Comments (showing 1-8 of 8) (8 new)

dateDown_arrow    newest »

message 1: by Neil (new)

Neil great opening reminds me of school


message 2: by Jennie (last edited Aug 28, 2008 01:12PM) (new)

Jennie I love this first page because you instantly know the precocious 9-year-old narrator of this novel without having read one iota of physical description, family history, demographics, etc. When I read this, I knew that I had to read the rest of the book.

He says it much better than I could. Just read the first page for yourself...

"What about a teakettle? What if the spout opened and closed when the steam came out, so it would become a mouth, and it could whistle pretty melodies, or do Shakespeare, or just
crack up with me? I could invent a teakettle that reads in Dad's voice, so I could fall asleep, or maybe a set of kettles that sings the chorus of "Yellow Submarine," which is a song by the Beatles, who I love, because entomology
is one of my raisons d'être, which is a French expression that I know.

Another good thing is that I could train my anus to talk when I farted. If I wanted to be extremely hilarious, I'd train it to say, "Wasn't me!" every time I made an incredibly bad fart. And if I ever made an incredibly bad fart in the Hall of Mirrors, which is in Versailles, which is outside of Paris, which is in France, obviously, my anus would say, "Ce n'étais pas moi!"

What about little microphones? What if everyone swallowed them, and they played the sounds of our hearts through little speakers, which could
be in the pouches of our overalls? When you skateboarded down the street at night you could hear everyone's heartbeat, and they could hear yours, sort of like sonar. One weird thing is, I wonder if everyone's hearts would start to
beat at the same time, like how women who live together have their menstrual periods at the same time, which I know about, but don't really
want to know about. That would be so weird, except that the place in the hospital where babies are born would sound like a crystal chandelier in a houseboat, because the babies wouldn't have had time to match up their
heartbeats yet. And at the finish line at the end of the New York City Marathon it would sound like war."



message 3: by Cindy (new)

Cindy I see a bunch I've never heard of. It will be fun to look for these at the library.


message 5: by Immaculate (new)

Immaculate You guys should read The Book Thief. It's an amazing book.


message 6: by Derya (new)

Derya Here is one of the best openings, I've ever read:

"Two households, both alike in dignity
(In fair Verona, where we lay our scene),
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
From forth the fatal lions of these two foes
A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life;
Whose misadventured piteous overthrows
Doth with their death bury their parents' strife."

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare.


message 7: by M (new)

M soooo true :p


message 8: by Namida... (last edited Feb 04, 2012 05:34AM) (new)

Namida... where's The Bell Jar a brilliant opening for a brilliant book

"It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn’t know what I was doing in New York. I’m stupid about executions. The idea of being electrocuted makes me sick, and that’s all there was to read about in the papers--goggle-eyed headlines staring up at me on every street corner and at the fusty, peanut-smelling mouth of every subway. It had nothing to do with me, but I couldn’t help wondering what it would be like, being bummed alive all along your nerves.
I thought it must be the worst thing in the world.
New York was bad enough. By nine in the morning the fake, country-wet freshness that somehow seeped in overnight evaporated like the tail end of a sweet dream. Mirage-gray at the bottom of their granite canyons, the hot streets wavered in the sun, the car tops sizzled and glittered, and the dry, cindery dust blew into my eyes and down my throat.
I kept hearing about the Rosenbergs over the radio and at the office till I couldn’t get them out of my mind. It was like the first time I saw a cadaver. For weeks afterward, the cadaver’s head--or what there was left of it--floated up behind my eggs and bacon at breakfast and behind the face of Buddy Willard, who was responsible for my seeing it in the first place, and pretty soon I felt as though I were carrying that cadaver’s head around with me on a string, like some black, noseless balloon stinking of vinegar."


back to top



Anyone can add books to this list.