First sentence of a book

Authors sometimes spend years to decide about the first sentence of their book. Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk is famous for his opening lines. This is the most famous one:

“I read a book one day and my whole life was changed.” – Orhan Pamuk, The New Life (1994)

The first chapter of “The New Life” is archived at New York Times (translation from Turkish). You can also read a review by D.M. Thomas who complains about the “slightly stilted, English” translation.

Here’s a list of famous opening lines compiled by the American Book Review:

100 Best First Lines from Novels

It is hard to pick just one from that list. I picked this one:

“The sun shone, having no alternative, on the nothing new.” – Samuel Beckett, Murphy (1938)

I made few attempts to write books. I could not complete any of them. The opening line of my latest book draft was: “Form and substance co-emerge.”

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