Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists! Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers. 10 is just a suggestion to aim for if you can hit it -- do a list of 3 or 5 or 20 on your list. Your post, your choice! Really, it's just a starting off point. We realize 10 can be hard and we don't at all always expect it. And we always thumbs up anyone putting a different yet related spin on the topic to make it work for them!

Today's Topic: Still on hiatus but freebie link-up

For today's freebie I've decided to go with my Top Ten Opening Sentences. According to quite a few online articles that I've come across, the opening sentence is by far the most important aspect of a story because if a book doesn't immediately engage its reader from the very first sentence then the reader will in all probability abandon said book and never bother to pick it up again. But I happen to very much disagree with this commonly-held view as quite a few of my favourite books have had opening sentences that didn't instantly grab me! The opening sentence of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone ('Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much') has never really struck me as a particularly great first line for example. Opening sentences are certainly important I think but what's even more important is everything that comes after that. That being said, there are certainly opening sentences that I really love and that I feel give a glimpse of the greatness that lies in store :)


1. 'It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.' From Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.

2. 'There was no possibility of taking a walk that day.' From Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.

3. 'In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole and that meant comfort.' From The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien.

4. 'There was a hand in the darkness and it held a knife.' From The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman.

5. 'In the land of Ingary, where such things as seven-league boots and cloaks of invisibility really exist, it is quite a misfortune to be born the eldest of three.' From Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones.

6. 'The first thing you find out when yer dog learns to talk is that dogs don't got nothing much to say.' From The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness.

7. ‘Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show. To begin my life with the beginning of my life, I record that I was born (as I have been informed and believe) on a Friday, at twelve o’clock at night. It was remarked that the clock began to strike, and I began to cry, simultaneously.’ From David Copperfield by Charles Dickens.

8. 'There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb and he almost deserved it.' From The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis.

9. 'The monster showed up after midnight. As they do.' From A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness.

10. 'It was night again. The Waystone Inn lay in silence, and it was a silence of three parts.' From The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.

So there you have my list of opening sentences! It was very hard to limit it down to just ten and in the end I chose to leave out the opening sentences of The Great Gatsby and Anna Karenina as I felt that they were maybe a bit too iconic and obvious. And now I'm very curious! Which of these books would you now be interested in reading purely on the basis of their opening sentences? And what are your personal favourite opening sentences? :)

4 comments:

Jane @ Raincity Librarian said...

Wow, I love this topic! It's amazing how so many of these opening lines have become classics that you can instantly recognise, even years after first reading them.

Rissi said...

You've goes some great opening lines! Love seeing David Copperfield and Pride and Prejudice. I've not read either of them, but the British adaptations are always masterful. Oh, and Narnia! Love those books. :)

Hamlette said...

Good ones! My favorite is still the opening of The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton: "When I stepped out into the bright sunlight from the darkness of the movie house, I had two things on my mind: Paul Newman and a way home."

Hannah said...

Jane - Thank you! And yes, I know what you mean. I'm the same with songs. Sometimes a song will come on the radio or on TV that I haven't heard in years and yet I'll still be able to remember all of its lyrics!

Rissi - David Copperfield, Pride and Prejudice and the Chronicles of Narnia are all amazing stories :) Thanks for commenting!

Hamlette - Ooh, that IS a good opening line! I'll have to look into that book some more...