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BOOKS (FIRST LINES)
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[ Also see Books Books (Last Lines) Books (Quotes) Quotations ]

Fran knocked at the front door. It was too dark for her to find the bell; however, had she found it, she would have knocked just the same.
      - John Breckenridge Ellis, Fran [1912] (ch. I)

The point of this story is that Paris gave the prize to Aphrodite, not because she bribed him, but because she was beautiful. After all, it was a contest in beauty, though Athena and Hera started a discussion about wisdom and power. It was they who tried to bribe him. They had their merits and they had arguments, but Aphrodite was the thing itself.
      - John Erskine (3),
        The Private Life of Helen of Troy [1925]
         (pt. 1, ch. 1)

Crises have a way of thrusting into the limelight hitherto obscure persons, and giving them, for a long or short period, a leading role.
      - Susan Ertz, After Noon [1926] (ch. 1)

Laura Alicia Deverell was born on May 10th, 1862, at precisely a quarter past one o'clock on a Thursday morning. Those interested in that pseudo-science astrology or astromancy may trace her life and character, if they wish, among the stars, where no doubt it is all written.
      - Susan Ertz, The Galaxy [1929] (ch. 1)

This is what happened.
      - Douglas Fairbairn, Shoot

Five minutes past four. A neatly dressed, fair-haired young man stands in front of No. 24 Rothenbaumstrasse.
      - Hans Fallada (pseudonym of Rudolf Ditzer),
        Little Man, What Now? [1933] (prelude, ch. 1),
        (also titled Kleiner Mann, Was Nun?) (Eric Sutton translation)

John Barty, ex-champion of England and landlord of the "Coursing Hound," sat screwed around in his chair with his eyes yet turned to the door that had closed after the departing lawyer fully five minutes ago, and his eyes were wide and blank, and his mouth (grim and close-lipped as a rule) gaped, becoming aware of which, he closed it with a snap, and passed a great knotted gist across his brow.
      - Jeffrey Farnol, The Amateur Gentleman [1913]
         (ch. 1)

As I sat of an early summer morning in the shade of a tree, eating fried bacon with a tinker, the thought came to me that I might some day write a book of my own: a book that should treat of the roads and by-roads, of trees, and wind in lonely places, of rapid brooks and lazy streams, of the glory of dawn, the glow of evening, and the purple solitude of night; a book of wayside inns and sequestered taverns; a book of country things and ways and people. And the thought pleased me much.
      - Jeffrey Farnol, The Broad Highway [1911]
         (ante scriptum)

"'And to my nephew, Maurice Vibart, I bequeath the sum of twenty thousand pounds in the fervent hope that it may help him to the devil within the year, or as soon after as may be.'"
      - Jeffrey Farnol, The Broad Highway [1911] (ch. I)

In the writing of books, as all the world knows, two things are above all other things essential--the one is to know exactly when and where to leave off, and the other to be equally certain when and where to begin.
      - Jeffrey Farnol, The Definite Object [1917]
         (ch. 1)

In New Haven, Conn., when I was growing up, there were two sorts of Irish. There were the "drugstore cowboy" micks, who hung around the Elm Street poolroom over Longley's Lunch. And there were the earnest young Irishmen who fought their way up from the Grand Avenue saloonkeeper backgrounds of their fathers, went through Yale Law School, and have now found high place by the preferment of local politics or in the teaching profession.
      - James T. Farrell,
        The Studs Lonigan Trilogy [1935] (introduction)

Studs Lonigan, on the verge of fifteen, and wearing his first suit of long trousers, stood in the bathroom with a Sweet Caporal pasted on his mug.
      - James T. Farrell, Young Lonigan [1932]
         (sec. 1, ch. 1)

The only thing the Family managed to retain from the prolific line of their noble ancestors was a long and shapely aristocratic nose.
      - Nina Fedorova (pseudonym of Antonina Fedorovna Riasanovsky),
        The Family [1940] (pt. 1, ch. 1)

All the Venables sat at Sunday dinner.
      - Edna Ferber, Cimarron [1930]   BUY VARYING HARE USED BOOK  

Down the stairway of his house came Barney Glasgow on his way to breakfast.
      - Edna Ferber, Come and Get It [1935]   BUY VARYING HARE USED BOOK  

Bizarre as was the name she bore, Kim Ravenal always said she was thankful it had been no worse.
      - Edna Ferber, Show Boat [1926]

Until her was almost ten the name stuck to him.
      - Edna Ferber, So Big [1924]

DEAR GRAND-AUNT HENDRIETTA,
  Although I never knew you in life, as a child I often cracked butternuts on your tombstone.
      - Rachel Field, All This, and Heaven Too [1938]

I was never one to begrudge people their memories. From a child I would listen when they spoke of the past.
      - Rachel Field, Time Out of Mind [1935]

It is a trite but true Observation, that Examples work more forcibly on the Mind than Precepts: and if this be just in what is odious and blameable, it is more strongly so in what is amiable and praiseworthy.
      - Henry Fielding, Joseph Andrews [1742]

An author ought to consider himself, not as a gentleman who gives a private or eleemosynary treat, but rather as one who keeps a public ordinary, at which all persons are welcome for their money.
      - Henry Fielding, Tom Jones [1749]

Lounging idly in the deserted little waiting-room was the usual shabby, bored, lonely ticket-seller, prodigiously indifferent to the grave beauty of the scene before him and to the throng of ancient memories jostling him where he stood.
      - Dorothy Canfield Fisher, The Brimming Cup [1921]

She was scrubbing furiously at a line of grease spots which led from the stove towards the door to the dining-room. That was where Henry had held the platter tilted as he carried the steak in yesterday. And yet if she had warned him once about that, she had a thousand times!
      - Dorothy Canfield Fisher, The Home-Maker [1924]
         (pt. 1, ch. 1)

On the pleasant shore of the French Riviera, about half way between Marseilles and the Italian border, stands a large, proud, rose-colored hotel.
      - F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tender Is the Night [1934]

In 1913, when Anthony Patch was twenty-five, two years were already gone since irony, the Holy Ghost of this later day, had, theoretically at least, descended upon him.
      - F. Scott Fitzgerald,
        The Beautiful and the Damned [1922]


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