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Monday, February 24, 2014

Monday Discussion: Favorite Opening Scenes in Literature

Way back in June, Barnes and Noble's Blog ran this post listing their favorite opening scenes in literature.  I saved it to use in a future Monday Discussion.  Well, the future is here today!

Go through to their post and take a look at all of the comments too.  They had quite a few good examples in the discussion.

I love the question.  Many readers I work with are sticklers about opening scenes, even opening lines.  Their argument is, if the author can't hook me quickly, there are many other reading options I could try that will.  It is an easy way for some patrons to weed out one reading option from another.

I am not one of these readers myself.  [I have had too many books start a bit slowly, but when I gave them a chance ended up wowing me.] But because I have family members and patrons who do feel this way, I am very conscious of it.

Go through to the BN post first, but here are my two cents on the topic.

I love the opening of Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus.  It is a prologue that introduces the circus itself, the circus which is the backbone of this fantastic novel. The opening grabbed me, enchanted me, and left me breathless to turn the next page and see what would come next.

Click here for my multiple reviews and posts about The Night Circus and click here to get to the Amazon entry where you can read the opening for yourself.

Currently, I am reading The Swan Gondola by Timothy Schaffert.  That book also has an exciting opening in which a hot air balloon crashes into a house.  Click through to read it for yourself. Schaffert really captures all of your senses in his telling of this crazy event in the middle of the Nebraska prairie at the end of the 19th Century.  I could even feel the silk of the torn balloon on my fingers as I read.

Now it is your turn.

Share your favorite opening lines or scenes from literature for today's Monday Discussion.

For past Monday Discussions, click here.

4 comments:

Amelia Elizabeth said...

For the start of the year the display in our lobby ran a grouping of great opening lines. Since I put the display together a lot of them where some of my favorites. You can see the presentation here.

John BPL RA said...

The openning scene of The Outsiders where he steps out of the theatre into the bright sunlight. Not only is it a striking contrast that everyone has experienced and can instantly visualize, but it provided such a perfect metaphor for the transition from childhood into adolescence.

Kimberly said...

Just too difficult to choose a single favorite, and it's amazing how many great choices you can find on a web search of "great first lines," but one favorite for me would be "I still remember the day my father took me to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books for the first time" which begins The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Riuz Zafon.

Betty said...

The opening line of Code Name Verity: "I am a coward."