2001 – A Space Odyssey by Arthur C Clarke

Opening line:

Behind every man now alive stand thirty ghosts, for that is the ratio by which the dead outnumber the living.

The Thief of Always by Clive Barker

Opening line:

The great gray beast February had eaten Harvey Swick alive.

Thank You for Smoking: A Novel by Christopher Buckley

Opening line:

Nick Naylor had been called many things since becoming the chief spokesman for the Academy of Tobacco Studies, but until now no one had actually compared him to Satan.

The Tell-Tale Heart, by Edgar Allan Poe

Opening line:

True! – nervous – very, very nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad?

Smilla’s Sense of Snow by Peter Hoeg

Opening line:

Its freezing – an extraordinary 0 Fahrenfeit – and its snowing, and in the language that is no longer mine, the snow is qanik – big, almost weightless crystals falling in clumps and covering the ground with a layer of pulverized white frost.

The Collector by John Fowles

Opening line:

When she was home from her boarding-school I used to see her almost every day sometimes, because their house was right opposite the Town Hall Annexe.

Le Morte D’Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory

Opening line:

It befell in the days of Uther Pendragon, when he was king of all England, and so reigned, that there was a mighty duke in Cornwall that held war against him long.

Out of the Silent Planet by CS Lewis

Opening line:

The last drops of the thundershower had hardly ceased falling when the Pedestrian stuffed his map into his pocket, settled his pack more comfortably on his tired shoulders, and stepped out from the shelter of a large chestnut tree into the middle of the road.

The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje

Opening line:

She stands in the garden where she has been working and looks into the distance.

Das Boot by Lothar-Gunther Buchheim

Opening line:

From the officers’ billet in the Hotel Majestic to the Bar Royal the coast road describes a single extended curve three miles long.

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