First Paragraphs

opening hooks – a collection of literary beginnings:

You’re in the bookstore, browsing the shelves for… something. You don’t know what, exactly, you’re looking for but you’ll recognize it when you see it. Picking a book at random you open to the first page and begin to read. Two hours later you’re home in bed with a mug of sweet tea, still reading.

The aim of this project is to collect the best opening hooks. This is, obviously, a highly subjective proposition. However, by ranking your favorites we may be able to reach some kind of consensus. So go ahead and vote.

I added this one from Stephen King’s The Shining:

Jack Torrance thought: Officious little prick.

I’m going to add this from Elias Canetti’s Auto-da-Fe:

“What are you doing here, my little man?”
“Nothing.”
“Then why are you standing here?”
“Just because.”
“Can you read?”
“Oh, yes.”
“How old are you?”
“Nine and a bit.”
“Which would you prefer, a piece of chocolate or a book?”
“A book.”

3 thoughts on “First Paragraphs

  1. i started reading again about a month ago. just about every night before bed. I’m on my 3rd john grisham book, just because i used to read his stuff as a kid, and i still like it.

    Any ideas where i can find similar material to that? perhaps some other legal fiction, since that’s what keeps me interested the most i think…

  2. The easiest way to find similar material is to go to amazon and see what they recommend (after you choose a book you already like). I haven’t read many legal thrillers.

    I read about The Interrogation by Thomas H. Cook recently, so I’m picking it up tonight based on its good reviews.

    For thrillers that are a quick read, you can stick to your standards: Crichton (his last one, Prey, was interesting, about nanobots), Ludlum, etc.

    I tried John Sandford awhile back because he writes thrillers with a techno, computer theme, but I found his stuff boring.

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