is pretty good. But, really, who goes by those descriptions? I learned a long time ago that the back cover blurbs (and surely Amazon's blurbs are their spiritual successors) were not to be trusted. The first line test is superior. Not infallible, but definitely better.
So, here are ten of my favorite first lines, presented without further comment.
- The moment Scott and Harvey left the apartment, I began screeching. "Oscar! They're going to castrate us tomorrow!" I was horrified to hear myself say it. It made it seem all the more real. I found I couldn't stop looking at my balls, just to make sure they were still there.
- As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a monstrous insect.
- My name is Mary Katherine Blackwood. I am eighteen years old, and I live with my sister Constance. I have often thought that with any luck at all I could have been born a werewolf, because the two middle fingers on both hands are the same length, but I have had to be content with what I had. I dislike washing myself, and dogs, and noise. I like my sister Constance, and Richard Plantagenet, and Amanita phalloides, the death-cup mushroom. Everyone else in my family is dead.
- The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel
- Like all the men of Babylon, I have been proconsul; like all, I have been a slave.
- It started in mud, as many things do. In a normal world, it would have been time for breakfast, but apparently breakfast was not served in hell; the bombardment that had begun before dawn showed no signs of letting up.
- Mother died today. Or maybe yesterday; I can't be sure.
- The Deliverator belongs to an elite order, a hallowed subcategory. He's got esprit up to here. Right now, he is preparing to carry out his third mission of the night. His uniform is black as activated charcoal, filtering the very light out of the air. A bullet will bounce off its arachnofiber weave like a wren hitting a patio door, but excess perspiration wafts through it like a breeze through a freshly napalmed forest.
- It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.
- It was a pleasure to burn. It was a special pleasure to see things eaten, to see things blackened and changed.