Seven short sentences

Friday, 22 May, 2015

In the fiction business, crafting that captivating opening sentence requires a special gift. Some writers have managed it using just three words; others needed more but they still had the knack of making a dozen sound compact. Seven examples:

“Mother died today.” Albert Camus, The Stranger

“Call me Ishmael.” Herman Melville, Moby-Dick

“I am an invisible man.” Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man

“The moment one learns English, complications set in.” Felipe Alfau, Chromos

“Ships at a distance have every man’s wish on board.” Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God

“It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.” George Orwell, 1984

“The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.” L. P. Hartley, The Go-Between

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