"Well, Prince, so Genoa and Lucca are now just family estates of the Buonapartes."
Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace (1865-69)
May in Ayemenem is a hot, brooding month.
Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things (1997)
I am living at the Villa Borghese. There is not a crumb of dirt anywhere nor a chair misplaced. We are alone here and we are dead.
Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer (1934)
Indian summer is like a woman. Ripe, hotly passionate, but fickle, she comes and goes as she pleases so that one in never sure whether she will come at all, nor for how long she will stay.
Grace Metalious, Peyton Place (1956)
It was love at first sight.
Joseph Heller, Catch-22 (1961)
Like the brief doomed flare of exploding suns that registers dimly on blind men's eyes, the beginning of the horror passed almost unnoticed; in the shriek of what followed, in fact, was forgotten and perhaps not connected to the horror at all.
William Peter Blatty, The Exorcist (1971)
The cold passed reluctantly from the earth, and the retiring fogs revealed an army stretched out on the hills, resting.
Stephen Crane, The Red Badge of Courage (1895)
It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.
George Orwell, 1984 (1949)
In the shade of the house, in the sunshine on the river bank by the boats, in the shade of the sallow wood and the fig trees, ___, the handsome Brahmin's son, grew up with his friend Govinda.
Herman Hesse, Siddharta (1971)
A squat gray building of only thirty-four stories. Over the main entrance the words, CENTRAL LONDON HATCHERY AND CONDITIONING CENTRE, and in a shield, the World State's motto, Community, Identity, Stability.
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World (1932)
A country road. A tree. Evening. Estragon, sitting on a low mound, is trying to take off his boot. He pulls at it with both hands, panting.
Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot (1953)
It was three hundred forty-eight years, six months, and nineteen days ago today that the citizens of Paris were awakened by the pealing of all the bells in the triple precincts of the City, the University, and the Town.
Victor Hugo, The Hunchback of Notre-Dame (1831)
The world is what it is; men who are nothing, who allow themselves to become nothing, have no place in it.
V. S. Naipaul, A Bend in the River (1979)
The great fish moved silently through the night water, propelled by short sweeps of its crescent tail.
Peter Benchley, Jaws (1974)
___'s mother, Jenny Fields, was arrested in Boston in 1942 for wounding a man in a movie theater.
John Irving, The World According to Garp (1978) ("Garp")
My suffering left me sad and gloomy.
Life of Pi, Yann Martel (2001)
They say when trouble comes close ranks, and so the white people did.
Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea (1966)
Miss Brooke had that kind of beauty which seems to be thrown into relief by poor dress.
George Eliot, Middlemarch (1872)
My father and mother should have stayed in New York where they met and married and where I was born.
Frank McCourt, Angela's Ashes (1996)
In the town there were two mutes, and they were always together.
Carson McCullers, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter (1940)
The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.
L. P. Hartley , The Go-Between (1953)
The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents.
H. P. Lovecraft, The Call Of Cthulhu (1928)
The American handed handed Leamas another cup of coffee and said, "Why don't you go back and sleep? We can ring you if he shows up."
John le Carré, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1963)
Once upon a time there was a Martian named Valentine Michael Smith.
Robert Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land (1961)
Called by Dickens as his best work, this novel traces the rise, fall and rise of Pip, who finds eventual happiness with Estella. We meet the unforgettable Miss Havisham who spends her days in the bleak Satis House.
James Joyce, Ulysses (1922)
One evening of late summer, before the 19th century had reached one-third of its span, a young man and woman, the latter carrying a child, were approaching the large village of Weydon-Priors, in Upper Wessex, on foot.
Thomas Hardy, The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886)
All this happened, more or less.
Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five (1969)
On they went, singing "Rest Eternal," and whenever they stopped, their feet, the horses, and the gusts of wind seemed to carry on their singing.
Boris Pasternak, Doctor Zhivago (1957)
Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.
Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967)
I first met Dean not long after my wife and I split up.
Jack Kerouac, On the Road (1957)
In our family, there was no clear line between religion and fly-fishing.
A River Runs Through It, Norman Maclean (1976)
riverrun, past Eve and Adam's, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs.
James Joyce, Finnegans Wake (1939)
The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.
William Gibson, Neuromancer (1984)
Tyler gets me a job as a waiter, after that Tyler's pushing a gun in my mouth and saying, the first step to eternal life is you have to die.
Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club (1996)
When he woke in the woods in the dark and cold of the night he'd reach out to touch the child sleeping beside him.
Cormac McCarthy, The Road (2006)
The sweat wis lashing oafay Sick Boy; he is trembling.
Irvine Welsh, Trainspotting (1993)
___ ___ said she would buy the flowers herself.
Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway (1925)
___ was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, "and what is the use of a book," thought ___ "without pictures or conversation?"
Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865)
They shoot the white girl first.
Toni Morrison, Paradise (1998)
The drought had lasted now for ten million years, and the reign of the terrible lizards had long since ended.
Arthur C. Clarke, 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Dorothy lived in the midst of the great Kansas prairies, with Uncle Henry, who was a farmer, and Aunt Em, who was the farmer's wife.
L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)
I first met him in Piraeus. I wanted to take the boat for Crete and had gone down to the port. It was almost daybreak and raining. A strong sirocco was blowing the spray from the waves as far as the little cafe, whose glass doors were shut.
Nikos Kanzantzakis, Zorba the Greek (1946)
They called him Moshe the Beadle, as though he had never had a surname in his life. He was a man of all work at Hasidic synagogue. The Jews of Sighet - that little town in Transylvania where I spent my childhood - were very fond of him.
Elie Wiesel, Night (1955)
It was seven o'clock of a very warm evening in the Seeonee hills when Father Wolf woke up from his day's rest, scratched himself, yawned, and spread out his paws one after the other to get rid of the sleepy feeling in their tips.
Rudyard Kipling, The Jungle Book (1894)
Halfway down a bystreet of one of our New England towns stands a rusty wooden house, with seven acutely peaked gables, facing towards various points of the compass, and a huge, clustered chimney in the midst.
Nathaniel Hawthorne, The House of the Seven Gables (1851)
I am an American, Chicago born, and go at things as I have taught myself, free-style, and will make the record in my own way: first to knock, first admitted.
Saul Bellow, The Adventures of Augie March (1953)
124 was spiteful.
Toni Morrison, Beloved (1987)
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.
Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice (1813)
It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn't know what I was doing in New York.
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar (1963)
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, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885)
You better not never tell nobody but God.
Alice Walker, The Color Purple (1982)
Nellie, a cruising yawl, swung to her anchor without a flutter of sails, and was at rest.
Joseph Conrad, The Heart of Darkness (1892)
It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents, except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the house-tops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.
Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, Paul Clifford (1830)
Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board.
Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937)
Call me Jonah.
Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle (1963)
I have never begun a novel with more misgiving.
W. Somerset Maugham, The Razor's Edge (1944)
A screaming comes across the sky.
Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow (1973)
He was an inch, perhaps two, under six feet, powerfully built, and he advanced straight at you with a slight stoop of the shoulders, head forward, and a fixed from-under stare which made you think of a charging bull.
Joseph Conrad, Lord Jim (1900)
The boy with fair hair lowered himself down the last few feet of rock and began to pick his way towards the lagoon.
William Golding, Lord of the Flies (1954)
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.
Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities (1859)
All children, except one, grow up.
J. M. Barrie, Peter Pan
Early in the spring of 1750, in the village of Juffure, four days upriver from the coast of Gambia, West Africa, a manchild was born to Omoro and Binta Kinte.
Alex Haley, Roots (1976)
You will rejoice to hear that no disaster has accompanied the commencement of an enterprise which you have regarded with such evil forebodings.
Mary Shelley, Frankenstein (1818)
"To be born again," sang Gibreel Farishta tumbling from the heavens, "first you have to die."
Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses (1988)
Granted: I am an inmate of a mental hospital; my keeper is watching me, he never lets me out of his sight; there's a peephole in the door, and my keeper's eye is the shade of brown that can never see through a blue-eyed type like me.
Günter Grass, The Tin Drum (1959)
The Mole had been working very hard all the morning, spring-cleaning his little home.
Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows (1908)
As i walked through the wilderness of this world, I lighted on a certain place, where was a den, and laid me down in that place to sleep; and as I slept, I dreamed a dream.
John Bunyan, The Pilgrim's Progress (1678)
Call me Ishmael.
Herman Melville, Moby-Dick (1851)
It was a feature peculiar to the colonial wars of North America, that the toils and dangers of the wilderness were to be encountered before the adverse hosts could meet.
James Fenimore Cooper, The Last of the Mohicans (1826)
Buck did not read the newspapers or he would have known that trouble was brewing, not alone for himself, but for every tide-water dog, strong of muscle and with warm, long hair, from Puget Sound to San Diego.
Jack London, The Call of the Wild (1903)
In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I've been turning over in my mind ever since.
F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby (1925)
It is a curious thing that at my age, fifty-five last birthday, I should find myself taking up a pen to try and write a history.
H. Rider Haggard, King Solomon's Mines (1885)
Mother died today. Or, maybe, yesterday; I can't be sure.
Albert Camus, The Stranger (1942)
If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.
J. D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye (1951)
A throng of bearded men, in sad-colored garments and gray, steeple-crowned hats, intermixed with women, some wearing hoods, and others bareheaded, was assembled in front of a wooden edifice, the door of which was heavily timbered with oak, and studded with iron spikes.
Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter (1850)
A story has no beginning or end; arbitrarily one chooses that moment of experience from which to look back or from which to look ahead.
Graham Greene, The End of the Affair (1951)
I am seated in an office surrounded by heads and bodies.
David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest (1996)
___ ___ was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were.
Margaret Mitchell, Gone with the Wind (1936) ("Scarlett O'Hara")
What's it going to be then, eh?
Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange (1962)
It was a pleasure to burn.
Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451 (1953)
Someone must have slandered Josef K., for one morning, without having done anything truly wrong, he was arrested.
Franz Kafka, The Trial (1925)
___ and Guy Woodhouse had signed a lease on a five-room apartment in a geometric white house on First Avenue when they received word, from a woman named Mrs. Cortez, that a four-room apartment in Bramford had become available.
Ira Levin, Rosemary's Baby (1967) ("Rosemary")
At half-past six on a Friday evening in January, Lincoln International Airport, Illinois, was functioning, though with difficulty.
Arthur Hailey, Airport (1968)
There was no possibility of taking a walk that day.
Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre (1847)
When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow.
Harper Lee, To Kill a Mocking Bird (1960)
I was born in the city of Bombay ... once upon a time. No, that won't do, there's no getting away from the date. I was born in Dr. Narlikar's Nursing Home on August 15, 1947.
Salman Rushdie, Midnight's Children (1981)
Once upon a time and a very good time it was there was a moocow coming down along the road and this moocow that was coming down along the road met a nicens little boy named baby tuckoo.
James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916)
As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams, he found himself transformed into a giant insect.
Franz Kafka, Metamorphosis (1915)
In the beginning there was a river. The river became a road and the road branched out to the whole world. And because the road was once a river it was always hungry.
Ben Okri, The Famished Road (1991)
It was Wang Lung's marriage day.
Pearl S. Buck, The Good Earth (1931)
He sat in defiance of municipal orders, astride the gun of Zam-Zammeh on her brick platform opposite the old Ajaibgher - the Wonder House, as the natives called the Lahore Museum.
Rudyard Kipling, Kim (1901)
Through the fence, between the curling flower spaces, I could see them hitting.
William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury (1929)
A green hunting cap squeezed the top of the fleshy balloon of a head.
John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces (1980)
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.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, J. K. Rowling (1998)
I am a sick man...I am a spiteful man.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes from Underground (1864)
Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.
Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina (1877)
Late in the afternoon of a chilly day in February, two gentlemen were sitting alone over their wine, in a well-furnished dining parlor, in the town of P----, in Kentucky.
Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852)
Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.
Daphne du Maurier, Rebecca (1938)
1801-- I have just returned from a visit to my landlord -- the solitary neighbor that I shall be troubled with.
Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights (1847)
The idea of eternal return is a mysterious one, and Nietzche has often perplexed other philosophers with it: to think that everything recurs as we once experienced it, and that the recurrence itself recurs ad infinitum! What does this mad myth signify?
Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1984)
The studio was filled with the rich odour of roses, and when the light summer wind stirred amidst the trees of the garden there came through the open door the heavy scent of the lilac, or the more delicate perfume of the pink-flowering thorn.
Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890)
3 May. Bistritz. - Left Munich at 8:35 P.M., on 1st May, arriving at Vienna early next morning; should have arrived at 6:46, but the train was an hour late. Buda-Pesth seems a wonderful place, from the glimpse which I got from the train and the little I could walk through the streets.
Bram Stoker, Dracula (1897)
Amerigo Bonasera sat in New York Criminal Court Number 3 and waited for justice; vengeance on the men who had so cruelly hurt his daughter, who had tried to dishonor her.
Mario Puzo, The Godfather (1969)
I will begin the story of my adventures with a certain morning early in the month of June, the year of grace 1751, when I took the key for the last time out of the door of my father's house.
Robert Louis Stevenson, Kidnapped (1886)
To the red country and part of the gray country of Oklahoma, the last rains came gently, and they did not cut the scarred earth.
John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
"We should start back," Gared urged as the woods began to grow dark around them. "The wildlings are dead."
George R. R. Martin, A Game of Thrones (1996)
"Christmas won't be Christmas without any presents," grumbled Jo, lying on the rug.
Louisa May Alcott, Little Women (1868, 1869)
Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show.
Charles Dickens, David Copperfield (1850)
Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small, unregarded yellow sun.
Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1979)
The village of Holcomb stands on the high wheat plains of western Kansas, a lonesome area that other Kansans call "out there."
Truman Capote, In Cold Blood (1966)
Who is John Galt?
Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged (1957)
I looked at my notes and I didn't like them. I'd spent three days at U.S. Robots and might as well have spent them at home with the Encyclopedia Tellurica.
Isaac Asimov, I, Robot (1950)
In the first weeks of World War II, in the fall of 1939, a six year old boy from a large city in Eastern Europe was sent by his parents, like thousands of other children, to the shelter of a distant village.
Jerzy Kosinski, The Painted Bird (1957)
Somewhere in la Mancha, in a place whose name I do not care to remember, a gentleman lived not long ago, one of those who has a lance and ancient shield on a shelf and keeps a skinny nag and a greyhound for racing.
Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote (1605)
On an exceptionally hot evening early in July a young man came out of the garret in which he lodged in S. Place and walked slowly, as though in hesitation, towards K. bridge.
Fyodor Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment (1866)
He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad.
Rafael Sabatini, Scaramouche (1921)
Brenda was six when she fell out of the apple tree.
Norman Mailer, The Executioner's Song (1979)
___, light of my life, fire of my loins.
Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita (1955)
He was an old man who fished alone in a skiff in the Gulf Stream and he had gone eighty-four days now without taking a fish.
Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea (1952)
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)