Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Favorite Beginnings/Endings in Books

Every Tuesday, The Broke and the Bookish blog posts a new Top Ten list and invites its users to participate.  This week’s Top Ten is “Top Ten Favorite Beginnings/Endings in Books.”  As I did with the last Top Ten Tuesday post, I split this list in half to include some of my favorite first and last lines.


1.  City of Glass by Paul Auster

It was a wrong number that started it, the telephone ringing three times in the dead of night, and the voice on the other end asking for someone he was not.”

2.  Moby Dick by Herman Melville

“Call me Ishmael.”

3. Neuromancer by William Gibson

“The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.”

4.  Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon

“A screaming comes across the sky.  It has happened before, but there is nothing to compare it to now.”

5.  Ulysses by James Joyce

“Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed.”


1.  The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

2.  Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison

“For now she knew what Shalimar knew: If you surrendered to the air, you could ride it.”

3.  Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

“I lingered round them, under that benign sky; watched the moths fluttering among the heath, and hare-bells; listened to the soft wind breathing through the grass; and wondered how any one could ever imagine unquiet slumbers for the sleepers in that quiet earth.”

4.  Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

“But that is the beginning of a new story—the story of the gradual renewal of a man, the story of his gradual regeneration, of his passing from one world into another, of his initiation into a new unknown life. That might be the subject of a new story, but our present story is ended.”

5.  A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

“And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God bless Us, Every One!”

– Zach


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