There's a game some book readers play: I heard about it many years ago, and have been playing it ever since. It's called First Lines (or at least I call it that), and it's pretty simple:
Find a first sentence of a book that is not only a great first sentence, but that neatly and beautifully sums up the essence of the entire rest of the book.
The classic example, of course, is possibly the best- loved first sentence in all of English literature. And it is from what's probably my favorite book. So of course I have to include it:
But I also have a strong fondness for this one, which both immediately sucks you into reading the rest of the story and sums up the essence of that story:
"We were somewhere outside Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold."
Hey, it's nicely written. And you have to admit -- it does sum up the rest of the book.
So now it's your turn. What are your First Line favorites? And why?