The logical successor to the Washington Post article on famous last lines in fiction is a piece on opening lines. Since Ron Charles hasn’t written that one yet, here are a few suggestions for the sequel on first lines that pull the reader into a work:
From A.J. Finn’s The Woman in the Window:
Her husband’s almost home. He’ll catch her this time.
From Ray Bradbury’s classic Fahrenheit 451:
It was a pleasure to burn.
From Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections:
The madness of an autumn prairie cold front coming through. You could feel it: something terrible was going to happen.
If I might add to that body of work the opening lines from Mr. Mayhem, the first of the series of crime novels about a chronically underemployed former journalist with revenge in his soul:
Brinker stood beside the body with its red flannel shirt and black ski pants and two-tone duck boots and smiled. “Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.”
What’s your opening line?