I’m a patient reader. I don’t necessarily need for a book to start off with a bang. If it’s done right, I savor a slow build. Sometimes that build-up can take a few paragraphs or even a few chapters. As long as the story is enjoyable, the characters interesting and the pay-off satisfactory, I’m a happy reader. However, I do love a great first line, a hook that is so compelling or intriguing or hilarious, it draws me in with delicious anticipation.
Here are some of my favorite first lines:
Helen woke up in the middle of the night wearing someone else's breasts. Not her own insignificant, almost nonexistent bumps, but huge pendulous, full ones.
The small boys came early to the hanging.
The Pillars of the Earth
It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.
It was the day my grandmother exploded.
The Crow Road
Where's Pa going with that ax?
E. B. White
Anyone else have a favorite first line?