Lizada: First and Last-A A +A
By Rene Lizada
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
I HAVE always liked reading and I have this quirk about books. It is rather simple. If the first line of a book does not elicit interest I drop the book. To me the first line is important. In a nutshell, the first line is the line that determines the book itself. So when I open the book and look at the first line I am very careful and very aware of what I feel. It is a matter of feeling and not a manner of thinking, the opening line is.
If it is good, it pulls you in and never lets go.
So here are some of the greatest opening lines in literature. (book, line and author)
1) Pride and Prejudice: "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife." - Jane Austen
2) Anna Karenina: "All happy families are alike: each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." - Leo Tolstoy
3) A Tale of Two Cities: "It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.” - Charles Dickens
4) 1984: “It was a bright cold day in April and the clocks were striking thirteen." - George Orwell
5) The Catcher in the Rye: "If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born and what my lousy childhood was like…” - J. D. Salinger
6) The Great Gatsby: "In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my head ever since. Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone, he told me, just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you’ve had.” - F. Scott Fitzgerald
7) Moby Dick. - "Call me Ishmael." - Herman Melville
8) Peter Pan: - "All children, except one, grow up." - J.M. Barrie
9) Love in the Time of Cholera: "It was inevitable, the scent of bitter almonds always reminded him of the fate of unrequited love." - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
10) The Old Man and the Sea: "He was an old man who fished alone in a skiff in the Gulf Stream and he had gone eight four days without taking a fish." Ernest Hemmingway
Last Lines - People who are passionate can understand what I am about to say. I have several times applauded and even cried when I get to the ending of a novel. If the novel is really good, the last line will clinch everything. So here are a few of the best last lines of literature.
1) "Tomorrow, I'll think of some way to get him back. After all, tomorrow is another day." - Margaret Mitchell, Gone with the Wind
2) So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past. - F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
3) "It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known." - Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
4) "After a while, I went out and left the hospital and walked back to the hotel in the rain." - Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms
5) "Before reaching the final line, however, he had already understood that he would never leave that room, for it was foreseen that the city of mirrors (or mirages) would be wiped out by the wind and exiled from the memory of men at the precise moment when Aureliano Babilonia would finish deciphering the parchments, and that everything written on them was unrepeatable since time immemorial and forever more, because races condemned to one hundred years of solitude did not have a second opportunity on earth." - Gabriel Garcoa Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude
6) "I lingered round them, under that benign sky; watched the moths fluttering among the heath, and hare-bells; listened to the soft wind breathing through the grass; and wondered how anyone could ever imagine unquiet slumbers for the sleepers in that quiet earth." - Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights
7) "The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which." - Animal Farm, George Orwell
8) "But wherever they go, and whatever happens to them on the way, in that enchanted place on the top of the Forest a little boy and his Bear will always be playing." - The House at Pooh Corner, A.A. Milne
9) Up out of the lampshade, startled by the overhead light, flew a large nocturnal butterfly that began circling the room. The strains of the piano and violin rose up weakly from below." - The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera
10) And of course: "And they lived happily ever after."
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on February 20, 2013.