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book cover of In the Beginning

In the Beginning

Great Opening Lines from Your Favorite Books
An anthology of stories edited by

IN THE BEGINNING: Great Opening Lines From Your Favorite Books presents a smorgasbord of popular fiction from around the world; the all-important first sentence of over 700 famous and not-so-famous novels. Ideally, these opening lines will have a tremendous attraction for lovers of literature everywhere, an illuminating, amusing, and mesmerizing book that no reader - or writer - will be able to put down.

From Virginia Woolf to Tom Wolfe, from Edith Wharton to Stephen King, from Ernest Hemingway to Gabriel Garcia Marquez, masterpieces of world literature are juxtaposed with trendy best-sellers, romances with westerns, classics with cult favorites.

Some lines are well-remembered, others rarely recalled; still others are brilliant beginnings from relatively obscure books. But in every case, IN THE BEGINNING confirms how powerful a sentence can be.

While dazzling openers don't guarantee a worthwhile novel, expectations run high when we're introduced with: "Paint me a railroad station then, ten minutes before dark." (John Cheever's Bullet Park) or "There were 117 psychoanalysts on the Pan-Am flight to Vienna and I'd been psychoanalyzed by at least six of them." (Fear of Flying by Erica Jong).

Some books reach their zenith with wonderful first lines that are never matched: "I had this story from one that had no business to tell it to me, or to any other," from the first volume of the Tarzan series. Conversely, some rather mundane opening lines are made better because we know the marvelous story that follows, like B. Traven's Treasure of the Sierra Madre: "The bench on which Dobbs was sitting was not so good."

IN THE BEGINNING is more than just a novelty book. Anyone who loves books not only enjoys being reminded of their favorites, but also delights in finding a good one they've missed. Those who relish reading and writing will savor a collection that brings back memories of beloved books, and often, the times in which they were read; the perfect gift for book lovers and a wonderful conversation piece.


Used availability for Hans Bauer's In the Beginning

Kindle Editions

November 2012 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition

Title: In the Beginning: Great Opening Lines from Your Favorite Books
Author(s): Hans Bauer
Publisher: Balloon Foot Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA