Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Great first lines

Just posted this in a first line discussion on This Space. Not just a first line, but a first line of a first book:

"In Melton Mowbray in 1875 at an auction of articles of 'curiosity and worth', my great-grandfather, in the company of M his friend, bid for the penis of Captain Nicholls who died in Horsemonger jail in 1873."
Ian McEwan, 'Solid Geometry', from First Love, Last Rites

Can anyone beat that for a debut?

(Update, Feb 9: go here for more.)


Spinsterella said...


my favourite first line is "She could have been waiting for her lover" from England Made Me.

It doesn't have the word 'penis' in it, though...

Spinsterella said...

Oh, and Vile Bodies has definitely got the best opening chapter ever. (I kinda like Anna Karenina's too, but all that farming malarky that follows ruined it)

Tim Footman said...

I love Vile Bodies, and was cruelly disappointed by the movie. Simply not vicious enough. Waugh's wife announced her infidelity while he was writing it, and I've spent hours trying to indentify the precise moment when he loses it completely.