What are your favourite first sentences from books? Is there a book that you liked specially because of its first sentence? Or a book, perhaps that you didn't like but still remember simply because of the first line?
I recently posted one of my favorites, which is the opening line of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader:
There once was was a boy named Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.
That's a paraphrase, because I've loaned out my copy of the book to a young friend. And I'm too lazy to search the site to find the real version. You'll have to make do.
But for memorable openings, I think none take the place of Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities, whatever you think of the rest of the book (and I, for one, love it):
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way--in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
Wow. Sounds kinda like today, huh?