It Starts and Then It Ends
The Top Ten Tuesday this week - as seen on The Broke and the Bookish deals with the top ten opening and closing line[s], which is a topic that made me go 'ooooh' because whilst the body of a book is obviously of great import, it's how it starts and how it finishes that counts. If it starts awfully then you might not read past that first line and likewise if the ending leaves a bad taste in your mouth then it can taint the whole experience. Also, it made me have to do thinking and remembering because it's not just 'oooh that was a book I liked' it's 'how did it start and how did it finish and were either of those things better than all the other books?'
What a fun way to spend a lunch break, hey?
And so (never in any particular order):
1. I Capture The Castle – I write this sitting in the kitchen sink.
Best opening to a book ever. Possibly. Not only is it a super opening, because let us be real here, who doesn’t want to know what happens after that, it’s also a really great quote. It’s really a really great book too, which helps.
2. A really great book with a very good end: “Only the margin left to write on now. I love you, I love you, I love you.”
3. Mr. and Mrs. Dursley of number four Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.
It’s an opening that hooks you in, because you want to know more about these Dursley folk and what it is about them that makes them feel they need to proclaim their normality. More than than though that it’s what it represents: the first sentence to a series of books that has changed lives; that changed mine.
4. Life of Pi “Very few castaways can claim to have survived so long at sea as Mr. Patel, and none in the company of an adult Bengal tiger."
I loved Life of Pi; I loved the journey the book took me on and I loved how the conclusion made me question everything I’d read. The ending just felt right.
5. Looking for Alaska: "Thomas Edison’s last words were: 'It’s very beautiful over there.” I don’t know where there is, but I believe it’s somewhere, and I hope it’s beautiful'."
John Green, you’ve done it again and I love you. Looking at this book as a whole, making the last words 'last words', is genius and these last words are perfect.
6. The Graveyard Book “There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife.”
I love you Neil Gaiman, talk about building suspense from the very first second.
7. Deathly Hallows: All was well."
*uncontrollable sobbing* [FYI the epilogue will forever displease me but these three words? God, the first time I read this book they slayed me.]
8. TKAM: He turned out the light and went into Jem's room. He would be there all night, and he would be there when Jem waked up in the morning."
I just love the whole thing, honestly. Wouldn’t change a word.
9. The Book Thief: "A LAST NOTE FROM YOUR NARRATOR. I am haunted by humans."
I am haunted by humans. I will never be over this book. If you haven't read it, then read it. You need to have read it, and felt it, and lived it to understand why this ending is so heart-hurtingly perfect.
10. The Blind Assassin: Ten days after the war ended, my sister Laura drove a car off a bridge."
A good opening line makes you want to know the story. Even now, when I know the story, this opening line makes me want to read on. I love this book so hard.