Famous Novels with the Catchiest First Lines Books

Famous Novels with the Catchiest First Lines

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List Criteria: Novels that have often quoted first lines or opening sentences that are otherwise in the cultural zeitgeist. Vote up the most memorable.

The opening lines of a novel can prove crucial, and many authors spend an inordinate amount of time considering how their books will begin. From Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities to Melville's Moby Dick, often the opening sentence or two of a book will become the most frequently quoted and iconic passage from the entire novel. This list has the best novels with great first lines, bound to make the best impression on readers. 

These books of fiction are well known for their opening lines. The authors know that books don't just need a great story, there also needs to be something that draws in the reader. The opening line is that hook and the books on this list all have intriguing, interesting, and unique opening sentences.

This is a list of the greatest novels with the best introductory text, including world literature (with an emphasis on English literature), from throughout history, with the most memorable and significant beginnings. Vote up the most memorable first lines from fiction below.

Soure: American Book Review
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    A Tale of Two Cities is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Novels with the Catchiest First Lines
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    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.
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    • Author: Charles Dickens
    • First Published: 1859
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    Nineteen Eighty-Four is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Novels with the Catchiest First Lines
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    It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.
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    • Author: George Orwell
    • First Published: 1949-06-08
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    Fahrenheit 451 is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Novels with the Catchiest First Lines
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    It was a pleasure to burn.
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    • Author: Ray Bradbury
    • First Published: 1953
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    Anna Karenina is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Novels with the Catchiest First Lines
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    Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.
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    • Author: Leo Tolstoy
    • First Published: 1877
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    Moby-Dick; or, The Whale is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Novels with the Catchiest First Lines
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    Call me Ishmael.
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    • Author: Herman Melville
    • First Published: 1851-10-18
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    Slaughterhouse-Five is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Novels with the Catchiest First Lines
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    All this happened, more or less.
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    • Author: Kurt Vonnegut
    • First Published: 1969
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    Pride and Prejudice is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Novels with the Catchiest First Lines
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    It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.
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    • Author: Jane Austen
    • First Published: 1813-01-28
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    The Hobbit is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Novels with the Catchiest First Lines
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    In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.  
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    • Author: J. R. R. Tolkien
    • First Published: 1937-09-21
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