54 great opening lines: 39

It was a dejected-looking little tropical town situate some forty miles or more up a hot muddy river that wound back and forward, and back again, and round about as no river ever wound and serpentined before.

The Deeply Poetic Account of a Midsummer Night’s Idyll, James Edmond


By the time I reached the last word of this opening line I was already rapt.  It’s an indication of my taste in literature that this line resembles the one I posted yesterday, the opener from John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men.  Yet they were decades and continents apart, these two authors:  the Scottish-Australian James Edmond published his story in 1913 (in his collection A Journalist and Two Bears) and the American Steinbeck published his in 1937.

5 thoughts on “54 great opening lines: 39

    • I’m glad you enjoy them, Gerry. I haven’t read any of Terry Brooks’s works, and there are none on my bookshelves, but I’ll keep my eye out when I’m at the library.


    • Oh, you made me smile! It’s interesting, trying to find good ones – 54 is harder to reach than I thought it would be. Many a good book doesn’t start with a good hook. I’ve read a lot of short stories and a few novels lately that are moving and memorable but not from the first line! I’ll be going away (from my computer and my bookshelves) before I get to 54, which means I’ll have to finish the last ones when I return.


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