The Great Opening Sentences:
A Story of Sorts

© Steven Lazarus, 2005, 2006

When Danny came home from the army he learned that he was an heir and an owner of property.
  It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.
  “You too will marry a boy I choose,” said Mrs Rupa Mehra firmly to her younger daughter.

So begins the chapter “Happy Families Are All Alike” — with the opening sentences from three wonderful books (Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, and A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth), written in three different ages on three different continents. But here they are woven together to tell another story… the story of the greatest books ever written.

The Great Opening Sentences: A Story of Sorts is a collection of approximately 1,100 opening sentences arranged in the form of a novel. Most of these sentences are from fictional works, but some are from autobiographies. The sentences are from all eras, genres, and locations, ranging from the classics to Mills & Boon, Harry Potter to Nelson Mandela. The juxtaposition of these genres and styles is illuminating and entertaining, and readers will find not only their old favourites, but perhaps a few new books and authors as well.

In addition, the book comprises a Quiz is in the form of an interactive game to be enjoyed by a group of friends or book enthusiasts. Players are asked to identify 150 of the most famous books from their opening sentence. Each question also provides two hints, so the players don’t have to be experts; by the second hint most players should be able to identify the book.

The Great Opening Sentences: A Story of Sorts will be enjoyed by all lovers of great books. It does not contain a single original sentence, yet it is a totally original and entertaining guide through the popular literary landscape. The beauty of the original words is not hampered by any additional commentary or facts. Here, the sentences tell their own story.

Contents Sample: Preface, Chapter 1 & 2 Sample: Quiz Index ORDER