Browsing through the American Book Review's 100 Best First Lines from Novels
makes me stop and think - how many of these first lines
were the last lines
to be written and how many truly were the first words jotted down when the novel was but an idea?
5. Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. —Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita (1955)
38. All this happened, more or less. —Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five (1969)
48. He was an old man who fished alone in a skiff in the Gulf Stream and he had gone eighty-four days now without taking a fish. —Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea (1952)
88. Of all the things that drive men to sea, the most common disaster, I've come to learn, is women. —Charles Johnson, Middle Passage (1990)