Friday, August 10, 2012

First Line Friday

What is First Line Friday?

A new weekly post about a novel's first breath!

What does it mean?

Each Friday I'll post the first few sentences of a story and we'll look at how it helps us enter the world and kindles a desire to dive deeper.

Today's Book: Capt. Hook: The Adventures of a Notorious Youth by J.V. Hart

First Few Lines:

"It was his eyes.  The color of blue forget-me-nots, piercing, like two novas in a sky of dying stars.  Profoundly melancholy, yes.  Except when James was angry, at which time two red spots appeared in them and lit them up horribly."

I can quote this one almost verbatim.


Those first few words draw me in completely.

"It was his eyes."

What do you mean?

What about his eyes?

What kind of eyes are they?

Why are they?

Whose eyes?

What makes him angry?

When you write those first few words, you want the reader to start asking questions.  Why?  Because they will read further in order to answer them.  J.V. Hart does a fantastic job at fleshing out a character we already know, and imbuing him with a sense of hopeless romanticism.  Although you know the end of his trajectory, young James Hook does not and following him through his journey from Eton student to the notorious Captain Hook is a thrilling, spine-tingling ride. 

Would these First Few Lines from Mr. Hart make you want to read further?

What are some of your favorite First Lines?

And do you like the idea for these weekly posts?

I've got another weekly segment coming on Wednesday, and a review which will be posted over the weekend.  It's Friday, everyone!  Go home and curl up with a good book!


  1. Awesome idea for weekly posts!! I've never read this book, but I love that first sentence.

    For me, the best example I can give is the beginning of the first HP book. I didn't read them till 2006, after they were already super popular. I picked it up in Barnes and Noble to see what all the fuss was about. I read the first page and was totally hooked! The writing style is so funny and refreshing that you just want to read more.

    "Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much. They were the last people you'd expect to be involved in anything strange or mysterious, because they just didn't hold with such nonsense."

    Also, the beginning of pretty much any of Douglas Adams' books.

    I was just searching and found these websites:

    I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to read "A Prayer for Owen Meany" now.

    And this is an interesting list of first lines:

    These first lines caught my attention:
    Island of the Aunts, Eva Ibbotson
    Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
    The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul, Douglas Adams
    The Exorcist, William Peter Blatty
    I, Claudius, Robert Graves
    The Thief of Always, Clive Barker
    Gadsby, Ernest Vincent Wright

    Ok, you definitely have to keep doing these posts. ;-)

  2. Oooh these look fun! I am going to have to go look at these for ideas. ;) Island of the Aunts (or any of Eva Ibbotsen's books) is lovely. And Fahrenheit 451 is a thrilling, haunting book about the effect a lack of literature has on society. I haven't read the others, but now I'm curious! Thanks for these!