First Sentences

"Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendia was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice."

–Gabriel Garcia Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude

The first time I read One Hundred Years of Solitude, it was winter. I had broken my leg. With more time than I’d ever had before, I started reading and tryied to pace myself.  I hoped that the book would never end.


  1. Ooh, I have a good first sentence too, from Guilded Chamber by Rebecca Kohn:
    “It came to pass in the second year of the reign of Xerxes–who ruled from Hindush to Kusha–that I was orphaned.”

  2. Yes, you were a good reader for this novel, for it wishes never to end… but to go on with generations repeating themselves, an ironic, sonorous chant to tragedy and changelessness.

  3. What about?
    “All happy families are alike; all unhappy families are unhappy in their own way.”
    From Tolstoy’s ANNA KARENINA. Each translation poses this opener with a slightly different vocab, but the sentence has always provided me with solace.

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