I find these lists interesting and fun, whether or not I agree or disagree. And I always engage in some one-upmanship, as I generally think of other examples to augment any category.
This time it is - surprise - from Kafka.
"One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin." - The Metamorphosis.
C'mon - try to beat that! [DE]
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by CHRIS ROBLEY
Thumbs up or thumbs down on these first sentences?
In most issues of Poets & Writers you’ll find a fun section called “Page One” where they print the first line or sentence from new and notable books.
I thought it’d be fun to look at first sentences from 20 books that have already become classics (plus some semi-recent hits and a few more-obscure favorites) in order to see if the magic was happening right from the start, or if it took the author a little while to get cooking.
You be the judge and let me know what you think in the comments section below.
First sentences from popular books:
When he woke in the woods in the dark and the cold of the night he’d reach out to touch the child sleeping beside him.
— from The Road, by Cormac McCarthy
Robert Cohn was once middleweight boxing champion of Princeton.
— from The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway
It was a dark and stormy night.
— from A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle
Mother died today — or, maybe, yesterday; I can’t be sure.
— from The Stranger, by Albert Camus