The 27 best opening lines in books, from Rebecca to The Great Gatsby

Here's our pick of some of the greatest first lines in literature

Ellie Harrison
Thursday 17 October 2019 18:25
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Reading fiction
Reading fiction

Prepare to read the most fascinating article of your life.

The first sentence of any piece of writing is arguably the most importantboth in terms of hooking the reader in and of doing justice to the body of work that it is introducing.

Our attempt, here, is perhaps a little on-the-nose and definitely overestimates the quality of the copy that follows but, hey, it caught your attention and demonstrated our point.

From Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca and J R R Tolkien's The Hobbit, to Toni Morrison's Beloved and F Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, here are the 27 best opening lines in books...

Click through the gallery below to read them all.

To find out the 20 books Brits lie about reading the most, click here.

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