Here are some of my all-time favourite opening lines. Sometimes the books themselves unfortunately don't live up the the first line, but thankfully most often they do.
- "If it had not rained on a certain May morning, Valancy Stirling's whole life would have been entirely different." From L.M. Montgomery's The Blue Castle.
- "Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much." From J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Philosopher's/Sorcere's Stone.
- "There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it." From C.S. Lewis's Voyage of the Dawn Treader.
- "Ross Wakeman succeeded the first time he killed himself, but not the second or the third." From Jodi Picoult's Second Glance
- "It wasn't a very likely place for disappearances, at least at first glance." From Diana Gabaldon's Cross-Stitch/Outlander.
- "People usually start life by being born." From Walter Moers' The 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear.
- "The Herdmans were absolutely the worst kids in the history of the world." From Barbara Robinson's The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.
- "I might as well say, right from the jump: it wasn't my usual kind of job." From Geraldine Brooks' People of the Book.
- "I am what they call in out village "one who has not died yet" - a widow, eighty years old." From Lisa See's Snow-Flower and the Secret Fan.
- "My father had a face that could stop a clock." From Jasper Fforde's The Eyre Affair.
(While I'm at it, check out the first sentence of Anne of Green Gables - it's an entire paragraph!)