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Literature's greatest opening paragraphs

As with pubs and shoes, you know you’re reading a great book from the second you’re inside it.

In the right hands, a novel’s beginning alone can make you feel like you’ve just fallen into a fast-flowing river, snatched away from reality and hurtled downhill. They range from hard-boiled pulp fiction to classics to, well, The Bible; the only thing they have in common is that they’re so good it’s impossible not to read on. Unfortunately, right now you can’t. But in the meantime, enjoy the best literary handshakes of all time…

Let us know if we've left any off at the bottom.



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Spoiler alert: who Negan killed is revealed

by Jamie Carson
24 Oct 2016

Deadpool director quits over 'creative differences' with Ryan Reynolds

Has the 'merc with the mouth' just mouthed off one too many times?

by Tom Fordy
24 Oct 2016

This beloved Game of Thrones character makes a return in season 7

He's not been seen for ages, but he's making a welcome return

by David Cornish
24 Oct 2016

Kanye discusses Paris robbery for the first time and calls out Jay-Z

Yeezy slates Jay from the stage

21 Oct 2016

Everything you can expect from Charlie Brooker's Black Mirror

What you need to know for Season 3

21 Oct 2016

A forensic analysis of Liam and Noel Gallagher’s ongoing feud

A timeline of the best brotherly insults of all time

by Jamie Carson
21 Oct 2016

The first Glastonbury headliner has been announced

And it's an old favourite

by Dave Fawbert
20 Oct 2016

Tom Cruise acted out his entire career with James Corden

A few good men who have all the right moves

by Tom Fordy
20 Oct 2016

A love letter to Red Dead Redemption

As the sequel is announced, we look back at what made the first so dang powerful...

by Sam Diss
19 Oct 2016

Your first look at Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2

Why can't it be May already?

19 Oct 2016