100 Best First Lines

One of my favorites was left out. From Anthony Burgess' Earthly Powers: "It was the afternoon of my eighty-first birthday, and I was in bed with my catamite when Ali announced that the archbishop had come to see me."

Monty's picture

Who is John Gault? Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged. I don't know that this would be one of the greatest opening lines in literature, but it sure did sell a lot of bumper stickers and T-shirts.