I'm going to take a cue from metempsychosis, and give the first sentences from my top ten favorite novels. At least they're my top ten this week. This list is, of course, subject to change, as is everything else in this exquisitely postmodern world, yanno...
Anyway, presented in no particular order.
The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.
--William Gibson, Neuromancer.
This morning, just after 11:00, Michael locked himself in his office and he won't come out.
--Douglas Coupland, Microserfs.
I wish either my father or my mother, or indeed both of them, as they were in duty both equally bound to it, had minded what they were about when they begot me; had they duly considered how much depended upon what they were then doing;--that not only the production of a rational Being was concerned in it, but that possibly the happy formation and temperature of his body, perhaps his genius and the very cast of his mind;--and, for aught they knew to the contrary, even the fortunes of his whole house might take their turn from the humours and dispositions which were then uppermost;--Had they duly weighed and considered all this, and proceeded accordingly,--I am verily persuaded I should have made a quite different figure in the world, from that in which the reader is likely to see me.
--Laurence Sterne, The Life & Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman.
Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, inventor of the corn flake and peanut butter, not to mention caramel-cereal coffee, Bromose, Nuttolene and some seventy-five other gastrically correct foods, paused to level his gaze on the heavyset woman in the front row.
--T. Coraghessan Boyle, The Road to Wellville.
It was a nice day.
--Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, Good Omens.
I am seated in an office, surrounded by heads and bodies.
--David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest.
His tongue was twisted, and the line didn't come out straight.
--Gary Sernovitz, Great American Plain.
You don't know about me, without you have read a book by the name of "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer," but that ain't no matter.
--Mark Twain/Samuel Clemens, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
This is the saddest story I have ever heard.
--Ford Maddox Ford, The Good Soldier.
"Stay here beside her, major.
--Charles W. Chesnutt, The Marrow of Tradition.
...ooh, now that I think about it--what would be even cooler is if I gave you the final sentences in these novels as well. Very well, here they are, in the order I gave them above:
He never saw Molly again.
A Cock and a Bull, said Yorick--And one of the best of its kind, I ever heard.
(okay, this is cheating, since it's two sentences here, but I think it works much better this way.)
He did die, yes. But could anyone ask for more?
Slouching hopefully towards Tadfield......forever.
And when he came back to, he was flat on his back on the beach in the freezing sand, and it was raining out of a low sky, and the tide was way out.
She let the exit pass, sort of smiling.
Yours Truly, Huck Finn.
She was quite pleased with it.
"There's time enough, but none to spare."
Well, that was fun.