Great Opening Lines - A Challenge List - VOLUME TWO
- 36. HAROUN AND THE SEA OF STORIES by Salman Rushdie. Contributed by lbangs, identified by tallus: "There was once, in the country of Alifbay, a sad city, the saddest of cities, a city so ruinously sad that it had forgotten its name."
- 37. GREAT APES by Will Self. Contributed by lbangs, identified by jgandcag: "HoooGraa!"
- 38. SKINNY LEGS AND ALL by Tom Robbins. "It was a bright, defrosted, pussy-willow day at the onset of spring, and the newlyweds were driving cross-country in a large roast turkey." Contributed by lbangs. Identified by buddy.
- 39. THE SEA CAME IN AT MIDNIGHT by Steve Erickson. "I want you at the end of your rope, lashed to the mast of my dreams." Contributed by lbangs. Identified by Dave O'Neil.
- 40. THE GOLDEN BOWL by Henry James. Contributed by lbangs, identified by bertie: "The prince had always liked his London, when it had come to him; he was one of the Modern Romans who find by the Thames a more convincing image of the truth of the ancient state than any they had left by the Tiber."
- 41. SILENT SNOW, SECRET SNOW by Conrad Aiken: "Just why it should have happened, or why it should have happened just when it did, he could not, of course, possibly have said; nor could it even have occurred to him to ask." Contributed by lbangs, identified by Amy Kessler.
- 42. SMILLA'S SENSE OF SNOW by Peter Hoeg. Contributed by lbangs, identified by Jim: "It's freezing - an extraordinary 0 degrees Fahrenheit - and it's snowing, and in the language that is no longer mine, the snow is qanik - big, almost weightless crystals falling in clumps and covering the ground with a layer of pulverized white frost."
- 43. LUCKY YOU by Carl Hiassen. Contributed by lbangs, identified by Jim: "On the afternoon of November 25, a woman named Jo-Layne Luks drove into the Grab N' Go minimart in Grange, Florida, and purchased spearmint Certs, unwaxed dental floss and one ticket for the state Lotto."
- 44. DAVID COPPERFIELD by Charles Dickens. Contributed by Jim, identified by jenhowel: "Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show."
- 45. HELEN O'LOY by Lester Del Rey. Identified by sk: "I am an old man now, and I can still see Helen as Dave unpacked her, and still hear him gasp as he looked her over."
- 46. THE ROADS MUST ROLL by Robert Heinlein. Identified by sk: "Who makes the roads roll?"
- 47. MARS IS HEAVEN by Ray Bradbury. Identified by sk: "The ship came down from space. It came from the stars and the black velocities, and the shining movements, and the silent gulfs of space."
- 48. BORN OF MAN AND WOMAN by Richard Matheson. Identified by bitterms: "This day when it had light mother called me retch. You retch she said. I saw in her eyes the anger. I wonder what it is a retch."
- 49. COMING ATTRACTION by Fritz Leiber. "The coupe with the fishooks welded to the fender shouldered up over the kerb like the nose of a nightmare." Identified by Amy Kessler.
- 50. THE MAGUS by John Fowles. Identified by jgandcag: "I was born in 1927, the only child of middle-class parents, both English, and themselves born in the grotesquely elongated shadow, which they never rose sufficiently above history to leave, of that monstrous dwarf Queen Victoria."
- 51. PAINGOD by Harlan Ellison (from the collection DEATHBIRD STORIES). Contributed by Jim, identified by bertie: "Tears were impossible, yet tears were his heritage."
- 52. THE AUTUMN OF THE PATRIARCH by Gabrile Garcia Marquez. Contributed by Jim, identified by tallus: "Over the weekend the vultures got into the presidential palace by pecking through the screens on the balcony windows and the flapping of their wings stirred up the stagnant time inside, and at dawn on Monday the city awoke out of its lethargy of centuries with the warm, soft breeze of a great man dead and rotting grandeur."
- 53. LORD JIM by Joseph Conrad. Contributed by Jim, identified by PrBaron4: "He was an inch, perhaps two, under six feet, powerfully built, and he advanced straight at you with a slight stoop of the shoulders, head forward, and a fixed from-under stare which made you think of a charging bull."
- 54. ILLUSIONS - THE ADVENTURES OF A RELUCTANT MESSIAH by Richard Bach. Contributed by kbuxton, identified by Min: "There was a Master come unto the earth, born in the holy land of Indiana, raised in the mystical hills east of Fort Wayne."
- 55. GIRLFRIEND IN A COMA by Douglas Coupland. Contributed by kbuxton, identified by jgandcag: "I'm Jared, a ghost."
- 56. WHITE NOISE by Don DeLillo. Contributed by kbuxton, identified by ender22d: "The station wagons arrived at noon, a long shining line that coursed through the west campus."
- 57. DARWINIA by Robert Charles Wilson. Identified by cmonster, contributed by kbuxton: "Guilford Law turned fourteen the night the world changed."
- 58. BEN HUR by Lew Wallace. Identified by lbangs: "The Jebel es Zubleh is a mountain fifty miles and more in length, and so narrow that its tracery on the map gives it a likeness to a caterpillar crawling from the south to the north."
- 59. THE WOMAN IN WHITE by Wilkie Collins. Identified by jacq: "This is the story of what a woman's patience can endure, and what a man's resolution can achieve."
- 60. THE RED BADGE OF COURAGE by Stephen Crane. Identified by lbangs: "The cold passed reluctantly from the earth, and the retiring fogs revealed an army streched out on the hills, resting."
- 61. MORE THAN HUMAN by Theodore Sturgeon. Contributed by Jim, identified by jgandcag: "The idiot lived in a black and grey world, punctuated by the white lightning of hunger and the flickering of fear."
- 62. FOUNDATION'S EDGE by Isaac Asimov. Identified by dvcas1: "The first galactic empire was falling."
- 63. A FALL OF MOONDUST by Arthur C.Clarke. Identified by dvcas1: "To be the skipper of the only boat on the Moon was a distinction that Pat Harris enjoyed."
- 64. STARSHIP TROOPERS by Robert A.Heinlein. Identified by dvcas1: "I always get the shakes before a drop."
This list is the second volume of this list, which was getting too big to load before our minds started drifting back to what was on t.v., or to considering whether another beer would be too many, or even whether it was time to get back to work.
Amy Kessler: 2
Dave O'Neil: 1