Favourite Opening and Closing lines

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mizzycub

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What are your favourite opening and closing lines to books you have read, and why? Needless to say, this thread will contain spoliers. Read at your own risk!


My favourite opening line is this:
Nineteen Eighty Four said:
It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.
It is such a simple line, so simple that you don't pick up on just how strange it is until you have gone a few lines down and then you just end up thing "...wait a minute? Did that say what I think it did?". It holds much of the feeling of the entire book.


As for closing lines, I think I'll have to go for this.
Casino Royale said:
The job's done; The bitch is dead.
It isn't often that a book manages to end on a climax, as opposed to the calm down after the action, but with this one line, and the build up to it, Casino Royale manages to pull it off. It is a simple closing yet it manages to pull the book to a perfect close. It shoes just how much of a cold hearted bastard the James Bond character from the books can be.


The best ending overall for me is the last of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy trilogy of five, Mostly Harmless. In it Douglas Adams does what many authors would never dare - kill off almost entirely all his cast of characters. In what is almost apparently a parody of the series' beginning (the apparent destruction of the Earth) he ends the series with the complete annihilation of all of his characters and the Earth that they are currently standing on from all space, time and probability. It is a touching, sad and almost hysterically funny moment. The way all the threads are pulled together is a masterclass - and the final joke which has been awaiting its punchline since the third book is one of the best I have ever seen. The ending puts me into tears, then howls of laughter, then tears again. I find it ironic that the ending to a series of 'comedic' books is such a sad one but it is perfect, and I would not see it any other way.
 

Fire2box

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I don't have favorite opening or closing lines. Since the first and last lines aren't what make a book great, its all the pages in between those.

Of course one of my favorite lines is from the last book of Harry Potter.
"Not my daughter you bitch!"
 

Charlie

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Nothing springs straight to mind...

Actually, it's funny that you make this thread because about two hours ago I went to my final lecture for one of my Philosophy classes (Introduction to Philosophy (101)), and before the lecture I wondered to myself how my lecturer (incidentally my favourite lecturer) would round off and finish the module, as I was sure he would say something profound.

He quoted the final line of Bertrand Russell's The Value Of Philosophy (In The Problems Of Philosophy), which is this:

"Thus, the sum up our discussion of the value of philosophy: Philosophy is to be studied, not for the sake of any definite answers to its questions, since no definite answers can, as a rule, be known to be true, but rather for the sake of the questions themselves; because these questions enlarge our conception of what is possible, enrich our intellectual imagination, and diminish the dogmatic assurance which closes the mind against speculation; but above all because, through the greatness of the universe which philosophy contemplates, the mind also is rendered great, and becomes capable of that union with the universe which constitutes its highest good."

Now that has to be one of my favourite closing lines.
 
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i've got a few pickup lines for the omish

"wanna come over here and turn my butter?"

"Guess where the next barn is ganna rise"

"How about you and i slip into something less comfortable."
 

dogboy

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from Les Miserable: "It was the best of times. It was the worst of times"
from Moby Dick: "I am Ishmial"

and from Dogboy: "The memory of your moistened arm which kissed the sheets on lazy summer nights, before you fell asleep." (actually a poem)
 

Dawes

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James Joyce's Finnegan's Wake. The last lines of the book actually fade into the first lines of the book, making what you read one long, never-ending circle.

"A way a lone a last a loved a long the" is how the book ends, but it starts with "riverrun, past Eve and Adam's from swerve of shore to bend of bay...."

Those fucking modernists had so much ridiculous bullshit up their sleeves.
 

Eulogy

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Fav. Opening: "The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed" - The Gunslinger(Book 1 of 7 in the Dark Tower series by Stephen King)

Fav. Ending: "The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed" - The Dark Tower(Book 7 of 7)

Great series, unfortunately haven't read it in a while and lost copies of books 3-6 when moving
 

Aki

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"The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed."
-The Dark Tower I opening.

"Life, what is it but a dream?"
-Ending of Through the Looking Glass.

I love Alice in Wonderland. <3

EDIT: Woah! oO;;
Nice, TB29.
 

Eulogy

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can't tell....who posted first there akira?lol
 
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and all the whores and politicians will look up and shout 'save us '....and i'll whisper no

No closer in particular for me :/
 

DLGrif

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Actually, Moby Dick opened with "Call me Ishmael." Due to the popularity of the book, it was disputed whether his name actually is Ishmael, or if it was his nickname.

My favorite opening line is from the OP's book, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. "Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun."

My favorite closing line is from God's Debris: A Thought Experiment, a book written by Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert. It's more or less a dialogue between a man who knows literally everything passing on his philosophy (and thus his ability to learn incredibly fast) to a delivery man. It ends with the delivery man growing old and passing it on again. "'If you flip a coin,' I said, 'how often does it come up heads?'"
 

Gingy

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"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." ....No... ...That book's too old....
 
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