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

The cell door slammed behind Rubishov.
      - Arthur Koestler, Darkness at Noon [1940]

In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate
  Praise be to God, Lord of the Universe,
    The Compassionate, the Merciful,
      Sovereign of the Day of Judgement!
        You alone we worship, and to You alone we turn for help.
          Guide us to the straight path,
            The path of those whom You have favoured,
              Not of those who have incurred Your wrath,
                Nor of those who have gone astray.
      - Koran, 1:1

ALIF lam mim. This Book is not to be doubted. It is a guide for the righteous, who have faith in the unseen and are steadfast in prayer; who give in alms from what We gave them; who trust what has been revealed to you and to others before you, and firmly believe in the life to come.
      - Koran, (Dawood translation), 2:1 The Cow

Spring came late, the year the war closed.
      - Laura Lettie Krey (used pseudonym Mary Everett),
        And Tell of Time [1938] (pt. 1, ch. 1)

Here are Paul and Judy,
  They can do lots of things.
    You can do lots of things.
      Judy can pat the bunny.
        Now you can pat the bunny.
      - Dorothy Kunhardt, Pat the Bunny [1940]

In the living-room of The Dreamerie, his home on Tyee Head, Hector McKaye, owner of the Tyee Lumber Company and familiarly known as "The Laird," was wont to sit in his hours of leisure, smoking and building castles in Spain--for his son Donald.
      - Peter Bernard Kyne, Kindred of the Dust [1920]
         (ch. 1)

LETTER I: Cecile de Volanges to Sophie Carnay at the Ursuline Convent of -----
  You see my dear Sophie I am keeping my word. Frills and furbelows do not take up all my time; there will always be some left over for you. Nonetheless, I have seen more frippery in the course of this one day than I did in all the four years we spent together; and I think our fine Tanville is going to be more mortified by my next visit to the convent (when I shall certainly ask to see her) than she could ever have hoped we were by all those visits of hers to us en grande tenue.
      - Pierre Choderlos de Laclos,
        Dangerous Liaisons [1782] (pt. 1),
        (P.W.K. Stone translation)

Ravenel Plantation occupies a singular rise of wooded land in North Carolina, between Way-Home River, Loon Mountain, and the Silver Fork.
      - Elinor Macartney Lane, Katrine [1909] (ch. 1)

Midge Kelly scored his first knockout when he was seventeen. The knockee was his brother Connie, three years his junior and a cripple.
      - Ring Lardner, Champion, a short story

Ours is essentially a tragic age, so we refuse to take it tragically. The cataclysm has happened, we are among the ruins, we start to build up new little habits, to have new little hopes. It is rather hard work: there is now no smooth road into the future: but we go round, or scramble over the obstacles. We've got to live, no matter now many skies have fallen.
      - David Herbert Lawrence,
        Lady Chatterley's Lover [1928]

"The Bottoms" succeed to "Hell Row." Hell Row was a block of thatched, bulging cottages that stood by the brook-side on Greenhill Lane.
      - David Herbert Lawrence, Sons and Lovers [1913]

The Brangwens had lived for generations on the Marsh Farm, in the meadows where the Erewash twisted sluggishly through alder trees, separating Derbyshire from Nottinghamshire.
      - David Herbert Lawrence, The Rainbow [1915]

Ursula and Gudrun Brangwen sat one morning in the window-bay of their father's house in Beldover, working and talking.
      - David Herbert Lawrence, Women in Love [1920]

It is not a pleasant epoch in one's life--the first forty-eight hours at a large public school. I have known strong-minded men of mature age confess that they never thought of it without a shiver. I don't count the home-sickness, which perhaps only affects, seriously, the most innocent debutants, but there are other thousand-and-one little annoyances which make up a great trouble.
      - George Alfred Lawrence, Guy Livingstone [1857]
         (ch. 1)

When at last we anchored in Jeddah's outer harbour, off the white town hung between the blazing sky and its reflection in the mirage which swept and rolled over the wide lagoon, then the heat of Arabia came out like a drawn sword and struck us speechless.
      - Thomas Edward Lawrence ("Lawrence of Arabia"),
        Revolt in the Desert [1927] (ch. 1)

Some of the evil of my tale may have been inherent in our circumstances. For years we lived anyhow with one another in the naked desert, under the indifferent heaven. By day the hot sun fermented us; and we were dizzied by the beating wind. At night we were stained by dew, and shamed into pettiness by the innumerable silences of stars. We were a self-centred army without parade or gesture, devoted to freedom, the second of man's creeds, a purpose so ravenous that it devoured all our strength, a hope so transcendent that our earlier ambitions faded in its glare.
      - Thomas Edward Lawrence ("Lawrence of Arabia"),
        Seven Pillars of Wisdom [1926] (ch. I)

I was travelling post from Tiflis.
  All the luggage I had in my cart consisted of one small portmanteau half filled with travelling-notes on Georgia; of these the greater part has been lost, fortunately for you; but the portmanteau itself and the rest of its contents have remained intact, fortunately for me.
      - Mikhail Yurievich Lermontov,
        A Hero of Our Time [1840] (ch. I),
        (Wisdom and Murray translation)

The rain was dashing in torrents against the window-panes, and the wind sweeping in heavy and fitful gusts along the dreary and deserted streets, as a party of three persons sat over their wine, in that stately old pile which once formed the resort of the Irish Members, in College Green, Dublin, and went by the name of Daly's Clubhouse.
      - Charles James Lever,
        Charles O'Malley, The Irish Dragoon [1840]
         (ch. 1)

Slow yellow river flowing, willows that gesture in tepid August airs, and four children playing at greatness, as, doubtless, great men themselves must play.
      - Sinclair Lewis, Ann Vickers [1933]

The driver of the wagon swaying through forest and swamp of the Ohio wilderness was a ragged girl of fourteen.
      - Sinclair Lewis, Arrowsmith [1925]

The towers of Zenith aspired above the morning mist; austere towers of steel and cement and limestone, sturdy as cliffs and delicate as silver rods.
      - Sinclair Lewis, Babbitt [1922]

The aristocracy of Zenith were dancing at the Keenpoose Canoe Club.
      - Sinclair Lewis, Dodsworth [1929]

Elmer Gantry was drunk. He was eloquently drunk, lovingly and pugnaciously drunk.
      - Sinclair Lewis, Elmer Gantry [1927]

The handsome dining room of the Hotel Wessex, with its gilded plaster shields and the mural depicting the Green Mountains, had been reserved for the Ladies' Night Dinner of the Fort Beulah Rotary Club.
      - Sinclair Lewis, It Can't Happen Here [1935]

On a hill by the Mississippi where Chippewas camped two generations ago, a girl stood in relief against the cornflower blue of Northern sky. She saw no Indians now; she saw flour-mills and the blinking windows of skyscrapers in Minneapolis and St. Paul.
      - Sinclair Lewis, Main Street [1920] (ch. 1)


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