TTT: My Favourite Opening Lines

I`m not a writer, but I imagine that the opening and ending lines are some of the hardest things to write. If you`re clever enough, a good opening line will stay in the collective minds forever. Think of all those famous beginnings from "1984", "Pride and Prejudice" or "Anna Karenina". Harry Potter, if you want something more recent. Yeah, it`s a lot of pressure. Today I`ve decided to pick a few famous lines, but also give you the reasoning for my choosing.

                                                   Photo by Євгенія Височина on Unsplash

"A Tale of Two Cities" by Charles Dickens
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way.”

I know this is peak Victorian literature, but this quote applies to every Millenial I know, myself included. We have so many possibilities, yet we`re crushed by so many responsibilities. I`m not complaining, but like I told my parents: at 25 they were able to buy a house, I can barely afford to pay rent. I don`t know, maybe I`m wrong, but it`s a quote very close to my heart.

"Anna Karenina" by Leo Tolstoy
"All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way."

If your family members have a complicated history, you`ll relate to this line so much. I still need to get my daughter christened, and planning the table arrangements is harder than quantum physics. 

"A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens
"Marley was dead, to begin with."

I`m sure we all know what this novel`s about, whether we read the book or not. There were countless movie adaptations. Still, when you look at the title, you expect something sweet and heartwarming. And then bam, someone`s dead.

"Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of The Universe" by Benjamin Alire Saenz
“One summer night I fell asleep, hoping the world would be different when I woke.”

From the start, you know there will be a lot of angst. You`re also intrigued, what is this character going through? Is it that bad or they`re being dramatic? I know it`s not a masterpiece, but I like this line. And you all know how much I love this book.

"The Martian" by Andy Weir
"I`m pretty much fucked."

Again, I`m intrigued. What`s going on? Is he dying? Has he seen aliens? I need to know. I also like the fact that swearing is in the first lines because this author will say it as it is. I rarely swear in real life, but at the same time, I`m happy when authors don`t shy away from it.

I know I should have included 10 quotes, but my little one is still teething and I`m barely sleeping. My brain is half functioning, so there`s that. I`m also very bad with remembering quotes if they`re not incredibly famous. I have a feeling I`ve missed so many that I love, but alas.

* Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme/feature hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl


  1. The Martian movie is one that I have seen over and over and over and over, but I have never read the book! I really should!

  2. Great list! I haven't read The Martian, but I love that opening line so much.

  3. The line from The Martian. That feeling.

  4. It's funny to see The Martian listed alongside so many classic first lines, because it's so much more abrasive but just as gripping. I love it.

  5. A Christmas Carol has such a good opening line.

    My TTT .

  6. I love the opening line of The Martian. I think I’ll always remember that one!

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  7. I used the A CHRISTMAS CAROL quote as well. It's not totally brilliant, but it's evocative and intriguing. Also, I just love that book!

    Happy TTT!

  8. I feel like The Martian is winning this week. I think I've seen it on the most lists. I really like that quote, too.

  9. Love the quote from A Christmas Carol! Here is our Top Ten Tuesday.

  10. these are such good opening lines/paragraph. These writers really know how to keep their reader intrigued right from the get go!
    Pam xo/ Pam Scalfi♥