Friday 5: Top 5 Eat or Be Eaten Opening Lines

In like a lion…

Welcome to March, regal beast it may be in these early days. To celebrate the wild entrance of what will soon be Spring, here’s a Friday Five devoted to take-no-prisoner entrances.

These lines gripped me from the go,  like the tiny gazelle in the big game cat’s maw. They made me keep reading, trying to crack some code, unravel the audacity of a slap-fisted introduction. Take a look and see if you agree:

Top Five Eat or Be Eaten Opening Lines

  1. “It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn’t know what I was doing in New York.”
  2. “They shoot the white girl first.”
  3. “Through the fence, between the curling flower spaces, I could see them hitting.”
  4. “If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.”
  5. “It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.”

You may have noticed I’ve not attributed these lines to any titles. Good eye, tiger! To up the intrigue (March is also the month of Ides and leprechauns, mind you), I’m leaving these openings unclaimed.

If you know which books are responsible for the lines above, chime in and show your authority in the comments below, you king of the literary jungle, you. And if you’re looking for a real challenge, take one and turn it into your own writing prompt, making a second masterpiece out of another’s first words. You’re top of the food chain – you can do what you want. Roar, baby. Roar. Just beware of that lamb…

 

Comments

  1. Elizabeth Hoover says

    # 3 is The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner.

  2. Aaron Zimmerman says

    and #4 is Catcher in the Rye.

    oops, got beaten to it!

  3. David nailed #2, and I recognize these:

    1. “It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn’t know what I was doing in New York.” — The Bell Jar
    4. “If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.” — Catcher in the Rye
    5. “It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.” — 1984

    So, who is going to identify #3?

  4. #2 is from Paradise by Tony Morrison. I’ll never forget that line.