The Fiction of Owen Thomas

Famous First Lines

Featuring classic first lines from works across the literary spectrum, from Moby Dick to Fifty Shades of Grey, Famous First Lines is intended as a resource for those looking for a just little help getting that novel started. As you will see, not all of the suggestions offered below are still available. Feel free to post your own contributions to help our fellow authors.

1984, by George Orwell

First Line: “It was a bright, cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.” (not available)


Siri translation:

Do you want me ... to search the web for ... Socks striking the teen? (available)

Alternative 1:

It was a dark, warm night in May, and the clocks were striking fourteen. (available)

Alternative 2:

For a clock, April was striking; bright and cold and not a day over thirteen. (available)

Alternative 3:

Thirteen bright, cold clocks were striking April, just to unwind. (available)

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