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
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101
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4.27 of 5 stars 4.27 avg rating — 100,585 ratings
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103
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3.69 of 5 stars 3.69 avg rating — 186 ratings
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104
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3.87 of 5 stars 3.87 avg rating — 158 ratings
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105
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3.85 of 5 stars 3.85 avg rating — 134,319 ratings
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105
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4.01 of 5 stars 4.01 avg rating — 101 ratings
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107
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4.13 of 5 stars 4.13 avg rating — 422,106 ratings
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108
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4.03 of 5 stars 4.03 avg rating — 342,899 ratings
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109
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3.91 of 5 stars 3.91 avg rating — 39,359 ratings
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110
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3.89 of 5 stars 3.89 avg rating — 83,866 ratings
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111
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4.2 of 5 stars 4.20 avg rating — 107,549 ratings
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112
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4.25 of 5 stars 4.25 avg rating — 19,858 ratings
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112
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4.62 of 5 stars 4.62 avg rating — 1,378 ratings
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114
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3.98 of 5 stars 3.98 avg rating — 135,084 ratings
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115
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4.01 of 5 stars 4.01 avg rating — 1,064 ratings
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116
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4.44 of 5 stars 4.44 avg rating — 1,176,411 ratings
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116
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4.19 of 5 stars 4.19 avg rating — 292,049 ratings
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118
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3.54 of 5 stars 3.54 avg rating — 3,872 ratings
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119
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4.24 of 5 stars 4.24 avg rating — 29,928 ratings
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120
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4.06 of 5 stars 4.06 avg rating — 181,080 ratings
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121
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4.05 of 5 stars 4.05 avg rating — 314,498 ratings
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122
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4.44 of 5 stars 4.44 avg rating — 921,587 ratings
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123
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3.99 of 5 stars 3.99 avg rating — 80,206 ratings
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124
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3.8 of 5 stars 3.80 avg rating — 81,289 ratings
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125
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4.02 of 5 stars 4.02 avg rating — 138,092 ratings
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126
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3.83 of 5 stars 3.83 avg rating — 104,609 ratings
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127
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4.02 of 5 stars 4.02 avg rating — 677,082 ratings
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128
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4.08 of 5 stars 4.08 avg rating — 11,519 ratings
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128
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4.04 of 5 stars 4.04 avg rating — 195,622 ratings
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130
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3.9 of 5 stars 3.90 avg rating — 467,985 ratings
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131
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3.9 of 5 stars 3.90 avg rating — 5,118 ratings
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132
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4.09 of 5 stars 4.09 avg rating — 1,060 ratings
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132
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3.56 of 5 stars 3.56 avg rating — 350 ratings
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132
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3.65 of 5 stars 3.65 avg rating — 2,318 ratings
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132
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3.64 of 5 stars 3.64 avg rating — 548 ratings
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132
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3.85 of 5 stars 3.85 avg rating — 143 ratings
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132
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4.66 of 5 stars 4.66 avg rating — 77 ratings
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132
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4.92 of 5 stars 4.92 avg rating — 79 ratings
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139
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4.32 of 5 stars 4.32 avg rating — 62,151 ratings
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139
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4.0 of 5 stars 4.00 avg rating — 9 ratings
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139
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4.13 of 5 stars 4.13 avg rating — 20,159 ratings
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139
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5.0 of 5 stars 5.00 avg rating — 4 ratings
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143
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3.88 of 5 stars 3.88 avg rating — 5,306 ratings
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143
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3.93 of 5 stars 3.93 avg rating — 1,087 ratings
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143
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3.87 of 5 stars 3.87 avg rating — 499,291 ratings
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143
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3.7 of 5 stars 3.70 avg rating — 498 ratings
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147
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3.91 of 5 stars 3.91 avg rating — 49,144 ratings
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148
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3.86 of 5 stars 3.86 avg rating — 115,437 ratings
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148
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4.04 of 5 stars 4.04 avg rating — 169,594 ratings
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150
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4.1 of 5 stars 4.10 avg rating — 222,327 ratings
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151
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3.85 of 5 stars 3.85 avg rating — 162,470 ratings
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152
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3.9 of 5 stars 3.90 avg rating — 76,793 ratings
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153
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4.15 of 5 stars 4.15 avg rating — 19,627 ratings
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153
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3.61 of 5 stars 3.61 avg rating — 308,423 ratings
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155
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4.12 of 5 stars 4.12 avg rating — 829,723 ratings
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156
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3.87 of 5 stars 3.87 avg rating — 645 ratings
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156
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3.87 of 5 stars 3.87 avg rating — 31 ratings
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158
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3.93 of 5 stars 3.93 avg rating — 21,026 ratings
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159
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4.12 of 5 stars 4.12 avg rating — 8,222 ratings
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159
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3.66 of 5 stars 3.66 avg rating — 128,776 ratings
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161
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4.22 of 5 stars 4.22 avg rating — 13,974 ratings
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162
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3.87 of 5 stars 3.87 avg rating — 180,889 ratings
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162
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4.13 of 5 stars 4.13 avg rating — 67,409 ratings
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164
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3.79 of 5 stars 3.79 avg rating — 298,620 ratings
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165
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4.18 of 5 stars 4.18 avg rating — 79,630 ratings
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166
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4.04 of 5 stars 4.04 avg rating — 21,447 ratings
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166
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3.71 of 5 stars 3.71 avg rating — 672,329 ratings
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168
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3.68 of 5 stars 3.68 avg rating — 31,294 ratings
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168
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3.72 of 5 stars 3.72 avg rating — 373,667 ratings
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170
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3.85 of 5 stars 3.85 avg rating — 67,434 ratings
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171
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3.8 of 5 stars 3.80 avg rating — 5,195 ratings
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172
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4.13 of 5 stars 4.13 avg rating — 139,142 ratings
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173
by
3.83 of 5 stars 3.83 avg rating — 29,933 ratings
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174
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3.91 of 5 stars 3.91 avg rating — 13,979 ratings
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175
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3.96 of 5 stars 3.96 avg rating — 49,118 ratings
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176
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4.29 of 5 stars 4.29 avg rating — 102,764 ratings
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176
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3.97 of 5 stars 3.97 avg rating — 425,607 ratings
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178
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3.62 of 5 stars 3.62 avg rating — 967 ratings
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179
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3.72 of 5 stars 3.72 avg rating — 11,716 ratings
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180
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3.61 of 5 stars 3.61 avg rating — 752 ratings
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181
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3.85 of 5 stars 3.85 avg rating — 1,426 ratings
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182
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4.09 of 5 stars 4.09 avg rating — 29,945 ratings
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183
by
3.89 of 5 stars 3.89 avg rating — 116,872 ratings
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184
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3.67 of 5 stars 3.67 avg rating — 92 ratings
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184
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4.27 of 5 stars 4.27 avg rating — 944 ratings
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184
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3.28 of 5 stars 3.28 avg rating — 1,367 ratings
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184
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4.18 of 5 stars 4.18 avg rating — 5,347 ratings
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184
by
3.74 of 5 stars 3.74 avg rating — 1,304 ratings
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184
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4.43 of 5 stars 4.43 avg rating — 14 ratings
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184
by
3.54 of 5 stars 3.54 avg rating — 80 ratings
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184
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3.8 of 5 stars 3.80 avg rating — 1,849 ratings
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184
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3.57 of 5 stars 3.57 avg rating — 3,665 ratings
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184
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3.02 of 5 stars 3.02 avg rating — 52 ratings
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184
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4.16 of 5 stars 4.16 avg rating — 5,712 ratings
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184
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3.9 of 5 stars 3.90 avg rating — 213 ratings
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184
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3.35 of 5 stars 3.35 avg rating — 354 ratings
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184
by
3.85 of 5 stars 3.85 avg rating — 6,111 ratings
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184
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3.67 of 5 stars 3.67 avg rating — 24 ratings
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184
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3.58 of 5 stars 3.58 avg rating — 10,922 ratings
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184
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3.61 of 5 stars 3.61 avg rating — 17,086 ratings
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354 books · 579 voters · list created August 28th, 2008 by Leila (votes) .
18 likes · like
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Leila 554 books
107 friends
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads 2565 books
511 friends
Neil 214 books
13 friends
Jennie 403 books
30 friends
Julia 1969 books
103 friends
Munchkin 87 books
5 friends
Julieh 193 books
1 friend
☯Bettie☯ 11894 books
169 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/Ðɑηηɑ (new)

M/Ðɑηηɑ 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."


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