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Thursday, March 01, 2007

Time to play... Name That Line!

There are some debates over the importance of an opening line for a story. Some people think the opening line should stand alone as a hook (or at least example of the author's writing skill) and others don't consider the opening line as that important. I thought for this week's Thursday Thirteen we'd play a little game. Here are 13 opening lines from books and below are the 13 books they come from. Can you guess which is which? Of these - which one is your favorite?

(Note: If there was a prologue, I skipped and went to the first line of chapter 1)

1. The ghastly, corpse-pale face appeared suddenly, materializing out of the depths of the fathomless darkness like some demonic guardian set to protect forbidden secrets.

2. The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.

3. The scent of slaughter, some believe, can linger in a place for years.

4. "Dear Deverell, of course I know exactly the right lady for you."

5. Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.

6. "Vicious little beasts, aren't they?"

7. On the night the Underworld put a contract out on me, a crescent moon dangled overhead like a celestial fishook and stars bobbed in the sky.

8. On his thirty-sixth birthday, May 18, Travis Corell rose at five o'clock in the morning.

9. Vampires.

10. My name is Odd Thomas, though in this age when fame is the altar at which most people worship, I am not sure why you should care who I am or that I exist.

11. Eragon knelt in a bed of trampled reed grass and scanned the tracks with a practiced eye.

12. Sssshhhh.

13. The first thing the boy Garion remembered was the kitchen at Faldor's farm.

(Ok, I've given you some easy ones... and some not so easy ones. Let's see if you can match the book to the opening line.)

Here are the books these lines come from:

Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz
Dawn of Prophecy by David Eddings
Eragon by Chris Paolini
Hunting Fear by Kay Hooper
The Paid Companion by Amanda Quick
The Loop by Nicholas Evans
To Distraction by Stephanie Laurens
The Gunslinger by Stephen King
Hunter by James Byron Huggins
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by Rowling
Hell's Belles by Jackie Kessler
The Rest Falls Away by Colleen Gleason
Watchers by Dean Koontz
Good luck!

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Anonymous colleen said...

I didn't know one. Here my favortie last line from Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins. Indigo...indigoing...indigone. It just surprised me.

8:23 AM  
Anonymous Cecile said...

The only book I have read of those is Harry Potter! Great idea for a Thursday Thirteen!

8:37 AM  
Blogger Joely Sue Burkhart said...

I haven't read any of these. :-( Bad me. Happy TT!

8:58 AM  
Blogger Annie said...

When browsing random books to buy, I often will pick one up because of the first line.

Anyway, here are my guesses (and most of them are indeed guesses):
1. Hell's Belles
2. The Gunslinger
3. Dawn of Prophecy
4. To Distraction
5. Harry Potter
6. Watchers
7. Hunter
8. The Loop
9. The Rest Falls Away
10. Odd Thomas
11. Eragon
12. Hunting Fear
13. The Paid Companion

9:22 AM  
Blogger BeckyD said...

I knew #5 was Harry Potter, my kids and I love that series. And it's the only book on your list that I have read.

Great list BTW, cool Idea.

mine's up too.

9:28 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Great idea for a list! I might have to steal that and adapt it for my own uses.

9:31 AM  
Blogger Thomma Lyn said...

I knew the Gunslinger line, but I should have known the lines from the Dean Koontz novels, too, because I've read 'em. Darned Swiss Cheese brain of mine! ;)

Neat game for TT! Have a great Thursday, and thanks for visiting my blog. :)

9:31 AM  
Anonymous Janet said...

Oooh, this is so much fun!!! Great idea :-)

2. Well, this one was simple: The Gunslinger by Stephen King

5. Easy one for me, I knew it without looking at the book list: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by Rowling

8. I'm guessing on this one, but was it Watchers by Dean Koontz?

9. I'd have to say this was The Rest Falls Away by Colleen Gleason

10. Another simple one: Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz

11. And another simple one: Eragon by Chris Paolini

The rest I don't know :-)

9:49 AM  
Blogger scooper said...

I knew 3 matches. *sigh* I guess I'll have to read more.

10:05 AM  
Blogger Christie said...

oh sadly the only one i knew was the harry potter one! happy tt!

10:40 AM  
Blogger Angela/SciFiChick said...

Cool, I've actually read 4 of these.

11:37 AM  
Anonymous Joy T. said...

I really need to get out more, or at the very least read more. I couldn't even begin to guess which opening went with which book.

11:53 AM  
Blogger Robin said...

I've only read the Harry Potter too, but what a great idea for a list.

Happy TT.

11:57 AM  
Blogger Tink said...

I don't know all of the books, but i remember the first sentences of the ones I do know. :)
My TT shows a lot of pics of my two kittens growing up.

12:30 PM  
Blogger Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Okay, I got Eragon and Harry. The rest? Forget it. I'm useless.

Now, ask me the first WORD of Trevor's Song and I can tell you that in my sleep -- It's the reason I'm having a hard time getting an agent, I know it!

3:40 PM  
Blogger Lady G~ said...

How very creative! The only one I knew was Eragon. We've read both of Chris Paolini's books. My children really loved it.

Hope you have a blessed Thursday!

3:42 PM  
Anonymous Caryle said...

Great list! Unfortunately I can only guess five of them.

Watchers is one of my absolute FAVORITE books. :)

4:03 PM  
Blogger spyscribbler said...

Oh COOL! I love first lines. Sometimes I just go wandering through the stacks, reading first lines.

I've read lots of those, but not all! The Rest Falls Away is in my TBR pile.

Happy TT!

4:17 PM  
Anonymous Laughing Muse said...

I also haven't read any of these...though I was able to guess the HP one just because of cultural saturation.

Interestingly enough, I tend to choose which T13s I will visit based on their descriptions...their "hooks", I guess. (Or would that equate to the blurb text?)

5:18 PM  
Blogger Kathy said...

This is a really good idea! I know the HP one, and I've read The Loop, but I can't remember the opening sentence. I'm guessing it's #3?

Sorry, I haven't read any others on your list. Gag!

Enjoyed my visit!

9:29 PM  
Blogger Douglas Cootey said...

The first paragraph of Rowling's first Harry Potter book is simply brilliant. What tight character development.

My Thursday Thirteen


6:27 AM  
Blogger Dharma said...

I love love love Odd Thomas. 5 is Harry of course. I haven't read much, okay any fiction in over two years and that was Odd. School will do that to ya.

5:21 PM  

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