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Thread: Favorite Opening

  1. #1
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    Favorite Opening

    What's your favorite opening to a novel/short story/poem?

    Mine comes from Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House:

    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.
    Blu
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    Senior Member 1st Electroshock Session TerryE's Avatar
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    Oh, yes! One of the best openings ever.

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    Senior Member Ok, I really can't come up with anymore of these stupid things... srboone's Avatar
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    Mine comes from "The Warhound and the World's Pain" by Michael Moorcock:

    "It was in that year when the fashion in cruelty demanded not only the crucifixion of peasant children, but a similar fate for their pets, that I first met Lucifer and transported into hell; for the Prince of Darkness wished to strike a bargain with me."
    "I'm a vegan. "

    ---Kirby Bliss Blanton , The Green Inferno (2013)

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    Senior Member Involuntarily Committed Nik Houser's Avatar
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    Probably from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, which I read in high school, having read very little unusual fiction prior to that: "We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold."

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    Senior Member 1st Electroshock Session TerryE's Avatar
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    "100 Years of Solitude" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez: "Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice." I actually love that fact that it is chapters later before the story gets back to that firing squad.

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    Senior Member Involuntarily Committed misery chastain loves co.'s Avatar
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    One of many but I'm rather fond of:
    "Once upon a time,not so long ago, a monster came to the small town of Castle Rock, Maine" This line might be considered obvious but it does suck you in from the get go!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nik Houser View Post
    Probably from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, which I read in high school, having read very little unusual fiction prior to that: "We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold."
    I'm not sure if I'd classify that as fiction or nonfiction. Sure the names are changed, but it's all real events.

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    Senior Member 2nd Rubber Room Confinement peteOcha's Avatar
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    "The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed."

    Surprised it hasn't been named already but this is a great line!

    And this is not an opening line, but the first 20-30 pages of A Game of Thrones had me hooked on the book!

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    Senior Member 1st Electroshock Session
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    Completely agree about the Gunslinger opening, meant to name that one a few days ago, but got distracted and forgot, which happens to me more than I'd like, lol

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    Senior Member Involuntarily Committed thelion's Avatar
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    My favorite is from Neuromancer by William Gibson:
    "The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel."

    Two other great openers that come to mind are from Beloved by Toni Morrison:
    "124 was spiteful."

    and

    Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury:
    "It was a pleasure to burn."

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