Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

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.

Related

Author-Advice.jpg

30 Pieces Of Wisdom From Authors

AlternativeBookHERO.jpg

30 Coolest Alternative Book Covers

AP.jpg

Literature’s greatest serial killers

Comments

More

Watch Liam Gallagher perform 'Don't Look Back in Anger' for first time

Wonder what Noel thought of it...

by Tom Victor
26 Jun 2017

Tim Westwood accidentally sends credit card details to the internet

To be fair, he is nearly 60...

by Dave Fawbert
26 Jun 2017

El Chapo - yes, that El Chapo - is suing Netflix

Self-image is important to the former most-wanted man

by Tom Victor
26 Jun 2017

Eminem has grown a beard and it's really unsettling

Will the real slim shavey please stand up?

by Carl Anka
26 Jun 2017

Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl dedicates 'My Hero' to naked man

And the BBC accidentally showed him on TV

by Alex Finnis
26 Jun 2017

DJ Legend Goldie just accidentally revealed Banksy's identity

That's one big slip up...

by Carl Anka
23 Jun 2017

"Ohhh Jeremy Corbyn!" chant breaks out at Glastonbury silent disco

He's the hottest act of the summer

by Tom Victor
23 Jun 2017

Someone's discovered a £1 million item on 'Antiques Roadshow'

The world's dullest show just got interesting...

by Carl Anka
23 Jun 2017

Johnny Depp goes on rant about assassinating Donald Trump at Glasto

Someone's getting in trouble

by Gary Ogden
23 Jun 2017

This topless man absolutely kicking off at Ascot is pure gold

The Queen was there!

by Alex Finnis
23 Jun 2017