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message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Oct 23, 2010 11:20AM) (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
This is a thread requested by our assisting moderator Garret who is doing such a fabulous job with the music folder.

Here you can place some of your most favorite first lines of books, movies, etc. Or even just your favorite lines.

If it is a book, please add the book cover and author's photo and author's link. If it is a movie tell us a little about the movie and who starred in it and what it was about and of course the title of the movie itself.

If it was a TV show tell us a little about it and the name of the show and what character stated the line.

And of course make sure to add the full quote or line to your post so that we can all share in the enjoyment.


message 2: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Oct 23, 2010 11:32AM) (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Let me start:

Anna Karenina by Tolstoy.

If you have not read Tolstoy you are in for a treat:

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy by Leo Tolstoy Leo Tolstoy

In fact, this quote was referred to in The Yiddish Policeman's Union by Michael Chabon and also in our current spotlighted thread in the book we are currently reading: Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond.

The Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael Chabon by Michael Chabon Michael Chabon

Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond by Jared Diamond Jared Diamond

The quote of course is:

'All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.'

---Tolstoy

Here is a great article:

All novelists wish they had written the first line of Anna Karenina – and not only because of its aphoristic brilliance. Tolstoy's opening cuts straight to the heart of much of 19th and indeed 20th century fiction. The novel is, apart from all the other things it may also be, the complex and variegated story of the making and breaking of families. Most novelists highlight only one or another aspect of this intricate process. Jane Austen emphasizes courtship and seduction. George Eliot, in Middlemarch, focuses in on the pitfalls of marriage. Dickens, in David Copperfield, on the fate of the orphaned child. Balzac, in Le Père Goriot, on the subverted authority of the father. Flaubert, in Madame Bovary, on infidelity. Tolstoy in Anna Karenina, that novel of novels, does it all and a lot more besides.

Article:

http://www.penguinclassics.co.uk/nf/s...

If you haven't read Tolstoy you really should. What is stopping you?


message 3: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Oct 23, 2010 11:55AM) (new)


message 4: by Garret (new)

Garret (ggannuch) [image error]

"When the phone rang, Parker was in the garage, killing a man."
Richard Stark Firebreak (Parker, #20) by Richard Stark Firebreak

This is one of my favorite opening lines. Do you have one?

From the press release about the re-issuing of the Parker series:

Parker, the ruthless antihero of Richard Stark's eponymous mystery novels, is one of the most unforgettable characters in hardboiled noir. Lauded by critics for his taut realism, unapologetic amorality, and razor-sharp prose-style--and adored by fans who turn each intoxicating page with increasing urgency--Stark is a master of crime writing, his books as influential as any in the genre. The University of Chicago Press has embarked on a project to return the early volumes of this series to print for a new generation of readers to discover--and become addicted to.

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message 5: by Garret (last edited Oct 23, 2010 12:48PM) (new)

Garret (ggannuch) Bentley wrote: "Let me start:

Anna Karenina by Tolstoy.

If you have not read Tolstoy you are in for a treat:

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy by Leo TolstoyLeo Tolstoy

In fact, this q..."


Bently,

I enjoyed reading that famous line about families. I read Anna Karenina so many years ago that all I really remember is that I really liked it at the time.

I've never read Middlemarch but I happen to be watching a BBC miniseries production of it and I wonder how true to the novel it is. Middlemarch (Signet Classics) by George Eliot George Eliot George Eliot

Dickens was a favorite of mine as an adolescent but I doubt I will return to him now. I fondly remember his novels as well as the remaining you mentioned. Thanks for reminding me.


message 6: by Erick (new)

Erick Burnham | 244 comments "The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed."

The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower, #1) by Stephen King by Stephen King Stephen King


message 7: by Vicki, Assisting Moderator - Ancient Roman History (new)

Vicki Cline | 3835 comments Mod
"Marley was dead: to begin with."

From A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens by Charles Dickens Charles Dickens. I've always loved that - what a way to start a story about Christmas.


message 8: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
All great lines.

Love Dickens too (Garret and Vicki).

Garret, I have not seen the BBC version so I cannot comment; maybe others here can.

Very true Vicki.

Erick, King has a way with words; doesn't he...so talented.


message 9: by Garret (last edited Oct 23, 2010 07:33PM) (new)

Garret (ggannuch) Erick wrote: ""The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed."

The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower, #1) by Stephen KingbyStephen KingStephen King"


Speakin' of Stephen King, I remember reading The Shining when it came out and not being able to put it down. The Stanley hotel is not a lot like it appears in the movie.

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I understand he is writing a sequel with Danny Torrance now in his 40s, "Doctor Sleep."

The Shining by Stephen King Stephen King Stephen King


message 10: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Interesting Garret.


message 11: by Harvey (new)

Harvey | 284 comments "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..." and "Call me Ishmael." for my money are the two best openers. It almost seems an insult to say who wrote them!
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens Charles Dickens Charles Dickens and Moby-Dick or, The Whale by Herman Melville Herman Melville Herman Melville


message 12: by Garret (new)

Garret (ggannuch) Those are classics!


message 13: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Oct 24, 2010 08:59AM) (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Harvey wrote: ""It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..." and "Call me Ishmael." for my money are the two best openers. It almost seems an insult to say who wrote them!
Transforming Fabric Thirty Creative Ways to Paint, Dye and Pattern Cloth by Carolyn A. DahlPaul Clifford (Pocket Penguin Classics) by Edward George Bulwer-LyttonEdward George Bulwer-Lytton



message 14: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Oct 24, 2010 09:08AM) (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
How about Raymond Chandler and really the beginning of the private eye detective genre. Really the father of crime novels; a master every mystery or would be mystery writer cites:

From The Big Sleep (the opener):

It was about eleven o'clock in the morning, mid-October, with the sun not shining and a look of hard wet rain in the clearness of the foothills. I was wearing my powder-blue suit, with dark blue shirt, tie and display handkerchief, black brogues, black wool socks with dark blue socks on them. I was neat, clean, shaved and sober, and I didn't care who knew it. I was everything the well-dressed detective ought to be. I was calling on four million dollars.

The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler Raymond Chandler Raymond Chandler

Some other great lines from the father of American hardboiled detective fiction genre:

Neither of the two people in the room paid any attention to the way I came in, although only one of them was dead.

"I don't mind if you don't like my manners. They're pretty bad. I grieve over them during the long winter evenings."

"Such a nice escort, Mr. Cobb. So attentive. You should see him sober. I should see him sober. Somebody should see him sober. I mean, just for the record. So it could become a part of history, that brief flashing moment, soon buried in time, but never forgotten—when Larry Cobb was sober."

His heart was a brief, uncertain murmur. His thoughts were as gray as ashes. And in a little while he too...would be sleeping the big sleep.



message 15: by Vheissu (new)

Vheissu | 118 comments
"Cigarette smoking saved my life."
Thank You for Smoking by Christopher Buckley Christopher Buckley by Christopher Buckley


message 16: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Well that is sort of a conundrum isn't it Vheissu. Great line.


message 17: by Vheissu (new)

Vheissu | 118 comments I don't want to spoil the fun for readers, but the scene is hilarious and, in context, the line makes perfect sense.


message 18: by Harvey (new)

Harvey | 284 comments Vheissu wrote: ""Cigarette smoking saved my life."

Love it! :)


message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

Harvey wrote: "Vheissu wrote: ""Cigarette smoking saved my life."

Love it! :)"


And the movie is almost as good as the book. One of my favorites.


message 20: by [deleted user] (new)

Skinny Legs and All by Tom Robbins Tom Robbins Tom Robbins

It was a bright, defrosted, pussy-willow day at the onset of spring, and the newlyweds were driving cross-country in a large roast turkey.


message 21: by [deleted user] (new)

Still Life with Volkswagens by Geoff Nicholson Geoff Nicholson

It is an erotic dream of sorts. It is all slow-mo and freeze frame, a carnival of special effects, brightness dancing and hanging in space, shimmering, spinning tinsel, particles that curl and leapfrog, fragments of vehicle that shuffle and reshuffle, furling and unfurling in the dented air, electrical components, shards of glass, slices and slithers of upholstery and optional extras.


message 22: by [deleted user] (new)

Ellen Foster by Kaye Gibbons Kaye Gibbons

When I was little I would think of ways to kill my daddy.


message 23: by [deleted user] (new)

Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton Edith Wharton

I had the story, bit by bit, from various people, and as generally happens in such cases, each time it was a different story.


message 24: by [deleted user] (new)

Okay, I'll stop for now, but this is too much fun, and I will be back.


message 25: by Vheissu (new)

Vheissu | 118 comments
"No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream. Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against its hills, holding darkness within; it had stood so for eighty years and might stand for eighty more. Within, walls continued upright, bricks met neatly, floors were firm, and doors were sensibly shut; silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there, walked alone."
The Haunting of Hill House  by Shirley Jackson Shirley Jackson by Shirley Jackson


message 26: by Garret (last edited Oct 24, 2010 06:09PM) (new)

Garret (ggannuch) "If I could tell you one thing about my life it would be this: when I was seven years old the mailman ran over my head." Opening line from The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint

The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint by Brady Udall Brady Udall


message 27: by Garret (last edited Oct 24, 2010 06:08PM) (new)

Garret (ggannuch)
"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."
Opening line from One Hundred Years of Solitude

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez Gabriel García Márquez Gabriel García Márquez


message 28: by [deleted user] (new)

I'm enjoying everyone's lines, they are all treats!

Candide, or Optimism by Voltaire Voltaire Voltaire

All events are interconnected in the best of all possible worlds, for if you hadn't been driven from a beautiful castle with hard kicks in the behind because of your love for Lady Cunegonde, if you hadn't been seized by the Inquisition, if you hadn't wandered over America on foot, if you hadn't thrust your sword through the baron, and if you hadn't lost all your sheep from the land of Eldorado, you wouldn't be here eating candied citrons and pistaschio nuts.


message 29: by [deleted user] (new)

Love in the Ruins by Walker Percy Walker Percy Walker Percy

Now in these dread latter days of the old violent beloved U.S.A. and of the Christ-forgetting Christ-haunted death-dealing Western world I came to myself in a grove of young pines and the question came to me: Has it happened at last?


message 30: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
These are all terrific guys. Great, great lines.


message 31: by Vheissu (last edited Oct 25, 2010 07:27AM) (new)

Vheissu | 118 comments The more things change...
Although American political life has rarely been touched by the most acute varieties of class conflict, it has served again and again as an arena for uncommonly angry minds. Today this fact is most evident on the extreme right wing, which has shown ... how much political leverage can be got out of the animosities and passions of a small minority.
The Paranoid Style in American Politics And Other Essays by Richard Hofstadter Richard Hofstadter Richard Hofstadter, November 1963.


message 32: by Elizabeth S (new)

Elizabeth S (esorenson) | 2011 comments You've all mentioned so many great and classic first lines. It is fun to just read through them! I've just started rereading a couple of fantasy books with great first lines that I'd like to add:

"So, there I was, tied to an altar made from outdated encyclopedias, about to get sacrificed to the dark powers by a cult of evil Librarians."

from Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians (Alcatraz, #1) by Brandon Sanderson by Brandon Sanderson Brandon Sanderson

"Prince Raoden of Arelon awoke early that morning, completely unaware that he had been damned for all eternity."

from Elantris by Brandon Sanderson by Brandon Sanderson Brandon Sanderson


message 33: by Garret (last edited Nov 11, 2010 06:53AM) (new)

Garret (ggannuch) Opening line:
"If I could tell you one thing about my life it would be this: when I was seven years old the mailman ran over my head."

The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint by Brady Udall Brady Udall


message 34: by Garret (last edited Nov 11, 2010 06:54AM) (new)

Garret (ggannuch) Opening line:
All this happened, more or less.

Slaughterhouse-Five Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut by Kurt Vonnegut Kurt Vonnegut


message 35: by [deleted user] (new)

Garret wrote: "Opening line:
All this happened, more or less.

Slaughterhouse-FiveSlaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegutby Kurt VonnegutKurt Vonnegut"


The war parts, anyway, are pretty much true.


message 36: by [deleted user] (last edited Nov 16, 2010 05:05AM) (new)

The history of the galaxy has got a little muddled, for a number of reasons: partly because those who are trying to keep track of it have got a little muddled, but also because some very muddling things have been happening anyway.

Mostly Harmless Mostly Harmless (Hitchhiker's Guide, #5) by Douglas Adams Douglas Adams Douglas Adams


message 37: by [deleted user] (last edited Nov 16, 2010 05:06AM) (new)

She wore her trauma like a plume.

The Judgment of Paris The Judgment of Paris by Gore Vidal Gore Vidal Gore Vidal


message 38: by [deleted user] (new)

Vheissu wrote: ""No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream. Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against ..."

That has got to be the best creepiest thing ever written.


message 39: by Harvey (last edited Nov 16, 2010 05:48AM) (new)

Harvey | 284 comments Melissa wrote: "She wore her trauma like a plume.

The Judgment of ParisThe Judgment of Paris by Gore VidalGore VidalGore Vidal"


Brilliant! Did not know that one at all.... Love it!
Eid Mubarak (Happy Eid holiday) to all!!!


message 40: by Michael (new)

Michael Flanagan (loboz) My favourite all time line is from a song from Jamie T called Operation of the Album Panic Prevention.

"I aint no abacuss but you can count on me"

It's a life motto for me.


message 41: by Juhi (last edited Aug 21, 2013 03:07AM) (new)

Juhi Patel | 4 comments To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee by Harper Lee harper lee

a good line by the narrator:
I never loved to read, one doesn't love breathing.


message 42: by Peter (new)

Peter Flom Oh, I have so many favorite lines ..... any lines at all from books or movies, right? Should I add them one at a time or in a big group


message 43: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
These are all great and I always forget to come over here to post them - but this thread is spectacular.

Thank you everyone for your contributions - love them.

Peter. I would just add them one at a time as you have time so folks have time to read them and not be overwhelmed by all of the "good stuff".

Post away.


message 44: by Peter (new)

Peter Flom "And then, one Thursday, nearly two thousand years after one man had been nailed to a tree for saying how great it would be to be nice to people for a change...."

from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1) by Douglas Adams by Douglas Adams Douglas Adams


message 45: by Peter (new)

Peter Flom This one isn't from a book, but it is from an author, and it should ring a bell with many here:

"If you have enough book space, I don't want to talk to you" Terry Pratchett Terry Pratchett


message 46: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Very good.


message 47: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Peter wrote: ""And then, one Thursday, nearly two thousand years after one man had been nailed to a tree for saying how great it would be to be nice to people for a change...."

from [bookcover:The Hitchhiker's ..."


Apt


message 48: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) When I saw post #42, it reminded me of another of my favorite lines from To Kill A Mockingbird
At the end of the trial, the Rev. says to Scout:

"Miss Jean Louise, Miss Jean Louise. Stand up, your father is passing".

It is so moving as all in the balcony stand silently as Atticus leaves the court room. The American Film Institute voted Gregory Peck's portrayal of Atticus Finch as the greatest hero in film history.....I couldn't agree more.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee by Harper Lee Harper Lee


message 49: by Juhi (last edited Aug 23, 2013 02:57AM) (new)

Juhi Patel | 4 comments one of the great quote I came across while reading this book:

"How do you always manage to decide?" - peter keating
"How can you let others decide for you?" - howard roark

The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand byAyn Rand


message 50: by Peter (new)

Peter Flom “The difference between stupid and intelligent people – and this is true whether or not they are well-educated – is that intelligent people can handle subtlety. ”

Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson by Neal Stephenson Neal Stephenson


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