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.
CITY OF GLASS, by Paul Auster
First Line: “It was a wrong number that started it, the telephone ringing three times in the dead of night, and the voice on the other end asking for someone he was not.” (not available)
It was a wrong number that started it, the telephone ringing three times in the dead of night, and the voice on the other end asking for Stacey and demanding to know who the hell I was and why the hell I was answering her phone at two-thirty in the morning and promising to kill me with dull implements if I was not out of her apartment in thirty seconds, because he had always known that something had been going on, ever since that day at the ice cream shop when I ducked into the bathroom like a pussy and slipped out the back window and ran, again like a pussy, and how I had better start running right now because he was coming for me and he was really going to mess me up with sharp implements so that I would know once and for all that Stacey was lost to me for good and that she hated me with every fiber of her being for being such a lowlife and for being someone who could treat her like a piece of meat – a piece of fucking meat – and that she would never have consented to me being near her again, to which I said hold on a sec and pretended to ask someone nearby whether she consented to me being near to her and then saying that, yeah, I really think she wants me to stay and to do that thing that she really, really loves, that thing that makes her toes curl and her ears tickle like that time after the ice cream shop, but that it was really great of him to call and check in on us, after which I hung up the phone and got up and went to the kitchen and got a snack and went back to bed and waited for him to push redial. (available)