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

by
3.95 avg rating — 72,594 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
102

by
3.44 avg rating — 11,538 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
103

by
4.12 avg rating — 1,254,844 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
104

by
really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 100,523 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
105

by
4.06 avg rating — 379,128 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
106

by
3.80 avg rating — 183,309 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
107

by
4.15 avg rating — 223,134 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
108

by
4.38 avg rating — 1,927,858 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
109

by
4.08 avg rating — 250,759 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
110

by
3.81 avg rating — 114,889 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
110

by
4.06 avg rating — 223,389 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
112

by
4.07 avg rating — 19,163 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
113

by
4.53 avg rating — 1,889,202 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
114

by
3.92 avg rating — 45,582 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
114

by
4.18 avg rating — 55 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
114

by
really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 158 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
114

by
3.93 avg rating — 58 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
118

by
3.98 avg rating — 587,488 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
118

by
3.84 avg rating — 6,395 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
120

by
3.46 avg rating — 324 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
121

by
3.72 avg rating — 16,510 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
121

by
4.26 avg rating — 126,636 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
123

by
3.71 avg rating — 605 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
123

by
3.78 avg rating — 246 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
125

by
3.71 avg rating — 254 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
126

by
3.95 avg rating — 672,497 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
126

by
3.83 avg rating — 203 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
128

by
4.15 avg rating — 560,864 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
129

by
3.89 avg rating — 63,481 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
130

by
3.91 avg rating — 104,245 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
131

by
4.63 avg rating — 3,098 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
132

by
3.98 avg rating — 163,454 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
132

by
3.78 avg rating — 372,760 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
134

by
3.91 avg rating — 1,739 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
135

by
3.91 avg rating — 230,821 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
136

by
4.14 avg rating — 457,865 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
137

by
4.20 avg rating — 391,649 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
138

by
3.54 avg rating — 5,570 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
139

by
4.24 avg rating — 41,577 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
140

by
4.06 avg rating — 899,198 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
141

by
3.86 avg rating — 39,069 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
142

by
really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 581,603 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
143

by
4.46 avg rating — 1,856,601 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
144

by
3.85 avg rating — 149,390 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
145

by
4.54 avg rating — 1,803,060 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
146

by
4.02 avg rating — 221,326 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
147

by
3.88 avg rating — 144,816 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
148

by
4.07 avg rating — 274,489 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
149

by
3.89 avg rating — 6,609 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
150

by
3.81 avg rating — 2,380 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
151

by
3.90 avg rating — 148,353 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
152

by
4.09 avg rating — 1,355 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
152

by
3.52 avg rating — 396 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
152

by
3.61 avg rating — 653 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
152

by
3.61 avg rating — 258 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
152

by
4.34 avg rating — 109 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
152

by
4.69 avg rating — 146 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
158

by
4.33 avg rating — 87,107 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
158

by
3.67 avg rating — 9,282 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
158

by
really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 9 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
158

by
4.14 avg rating — 27,058 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
158

by
it was amazing 5.00 avg rating — 4 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
163

by
3.90 avg rating — 7,380 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
163

by
3.94 avg rating — 1,969 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
163

by
4.08 avg rating — 244,038 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
163

by
3.97 avg rating — 655,299 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
167

by
3.92 avg rating — 77,446 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
168

by
4.09 avg rating — 97,224 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
169

by
3.98 avg rating — 281,743 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
170

by
4.10 avg rating — 299,818 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
171

by
3.54 avg rating — 10,827 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
171

by
3.88 avg rating — 204,055 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
171

by
3.82 avg rating — 313,813 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
174

by
3.89 avg rating — 99,360 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
175

by
4.16 avg rating — 27,382 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
175

by
3.66 avg rating — 408,556 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
177

by
4.55 avg rating — 457,839 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
178

by
3.87 avg rating — 1,204 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
178

by
3.75 avg rating — 52 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
180

by
3.91 avg rating — 31,454 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
181

by
4.13 avg rating — 11,306 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
181

by
3.68 avg rating — 150,464 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
181

by
3.82 avg rating — 158,795 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
181

by
4.28 avg rating — 42,224 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
185

by
4.28 avg rating — 31,956 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
185

by
3.67 avg rating — 59,089 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
187

by
4.13 avg rating — 107,675 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
188

by
3.82 avg rating — 402,104 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
188

by
4.34 avg rating — 637,332 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
190

by
4.34 avg rating — 474,792 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
190

by
4.27 avg rating — 105,810 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
192

by
3.88 avg rating — 258,527 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
192

by
4.18 avg rating — 97,463 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
194

by
4.05 avg rating — 28,860 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
195

by
3.69 avg rating — 42,618 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
195

by
4.02 avg rating — 13,837 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
195

by
3.89 avg rating — 126,159 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
195

by
3.68 avg rating — 535,919 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
199

by
3.85 avg rating — 92,269 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
200

by
3.82 avg rating — 7,894 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
flag this list (?)
489 books · 651 voters · list created August 28th, 2008 by Leila (votes) .
30 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Leila 616 books
106 friends
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads 2926 books
712 friends
Neil 320 books
17 friends
Jennie 591 books
36 friends
Julia 1630 books
119 friends
Munchkin 87 books
5 friends
Julieh 193 books
1 friend
Bettie☯ 14161 books
234 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 Ðɑηηɑ (new)

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."


back to top




Anyone can add books to this list.