It's often said that a book shouldn't be judged by its cover, but what about its opening lines? The beginning of a book carries the daunting task of hooking the prospective reader in, and has a very brief window of time to do so. With that in mind, we've rounded up the first lines of some of the world's most famous novels, and they stand as fine examples of how a short sentence or two can set the tone for an entire story - and define its legacy for decades to come.


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Scroll through each poignant piece of literary genius below, and be sure to let us know which classics you've read.

#1 'The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy' By Douglas Adams

'The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy' By Douglas Adams

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Jeremie Guerra 2 months ago

A true must read :) Specially if you want to know the answer to life, universe and everything ^^

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#2 'The Martian' By Andy Weir

'The Martian' By Andy Weir

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John L 2 months ago

Great novel! And yes, it was better than the movie, because you are able to get inside Mark Watney's brain.

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#3 'Fahrenheit 451' By Ray Bradbury

'Fahrenheit 451' By Ray Bradbury

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John L 2 months ago

I'm a huge SciFi reader, but never could get interested in him for some reason. I've always been an H. Beam Piper sort of fellow. ;D

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#4 '1984' By George Orwell

'1984' By George Orwell

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John L 2 months ago

To this day I'm still trying to decide which is most depressing; this one or "Brave New World".

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#5 'Anna Karenina' By Leo Tolstoy

'Anna Karenina' By Leo Tolstoy

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Nancy E 2 months ago

I loved this book & even though I tend to be an optimist, I've read a lot of dark Russian literature

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#6 'The Great Gatsby' By F. Scott Fitzgerald

'The Great Gatsby' By F. Scott Fitzgerald

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Wanda Queen 2 months ago

I can think of a few people right now who would do well to remember the same.

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#7 'Middlesex' By Jeffrey Eugenides

'Middlesex' By Jeffrey Eugenides

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Hope Floats 2 months ago

That intro alone would make you want to pick up the book and read on......

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#8 'The Go-Between' By L.P. Hartley

'The Go-Between' By L.P. Hartley

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Nancy E 2 months ago

This grabs & intrigues me

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#10 'The Crow Road' By Iain Banks

'The Crow Road' By Iain Banks

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Hope Floats 2 months ago

Now there's a start to a story........

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