100 Best Opening Lines

The first line of a book can either hook you completely or majorly disappoint.  Authors certainly aim for love at first line.  I personally don’t judge a book by it’s cover, but I definitely form instant opinions based on the first few words of a novel.

And it looks like I’m not alone– Stylist reviewed its favorite works of literature and compiled a list of the most classic and iconic opening lines.

Some of the top picks are:

Anna Karenina‘s opening (a favorite of mine, by the way), “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland has an opening we all could relate to at one point in our lives, “Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the riverbank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, ‘and what is the use of a book’, thought Alice, ‘without pictures or conversation?”

And who could forget the opening of Matilda? “It’s a funny thing about mothers and fathers. Even when their own child is the most disgusting little blister you could ever imagine, they still think that he or she is wonderful.”

To see the complete list of best openers, visit Stylist.com.  Which are your favorite lines?  Share them with us below.


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