A strong opening line to a piece of fiction cannot be over-valued. Sure there are some great opening lines to mediocre or bad novels. Charles Dickens wrote one of the most famous opening lines ever in his novel A Tale of Two Cities  and yet I despise that novel with a searing hatred usually reserved for the Los Angeles Lakers or broccoli. Then there are completely forgettable opening lines to brilliant works. Anyone remember the opening lines to Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment  or Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird ? Didn’t think so, but the rest of those novels haunt the reader for a long time. Sometimes the strength of the opening line can only be appreciated after reading the whole work and going back to the beginning as is the case of the seemingly innocuous opening to Michael Chabon’s The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay .
If an author can begin with something that immediately piques the your interest and draws you into the subsequent sentences, then he or she has immediately gained the high ground. Below are my top-5 favorite opening lines to novels. This is a tough one to narrow down and I decided to limit the list to novels I’ve read. And since I haven’t read every novel written I’m sure I’m missing some excellent examples. Please tell me your favorites.READ more