“Make sure that they let you see the house and it’s actually under a realty company,” Dowling said. “If it’s not from an actual real estate place and they’ve got

What novels have the best opening lines or opening paragraphs?

My opinion:

  • 100 Years of Solitude:
    • Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.
  • Submarine
    • It is Sunday morning. I hear out modem playing bad jazz as my mother connects to the internet. I am in the bathroom. I recently discovered that my mother has been typing the names of as-yet-uninvented mental conditions into Yahoo’s search engine: ‘delusion syndrome teenage’, ‘over-active imagination problem’, ‘holistic behavioural stabilisers’.
  • The Stranger
  • A Tale of Two Cities (of course!!)
    • 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 – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
  • Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow
    • It is freezing – an extraordinary -18C, and it’s snowing, and in the language which is no longer mine, the snow is qanik – big, almost weightless crystals falling in stacks and covering the ground with a layer of pulverised white frost.

I’ll stop now. There are many, many more.

(Honourable mentions to; The Grapes of Wrath, 1984, Catcher in the Rye. Pretty much anything on the answer wiki.)